Cypripedium macranthos var. rebunense is the most famous terrestrial orchid in Japan, since the variety has large beautiful yellowish-white flowers and is threatened with extinction. Establishment of an efficient method for micropropagation is urgently needed. When imbibed mature seeds of the orchid, that had been pre-chilled at 4°C for 3 months, were sown onto Hyponex-peptone medium that contained both α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) and cytokinin, protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) were formed from germinated seeds. Although the growth of PLBs was very slow, plantlets were easily regenerated from the PLBs on hormone-free medium. The PLBs were subcultured eight times along 2 years without loss of ability to regenerate plantlets, and one aggregate of PLBs (ca. 5 mm in diameter) produced ca. 10 plants within a year. A reduction of commercial value through a large-scale micropropagation by this method will be able to prevent illegal collection from the wild populations.
asymbiotic germinationconservation of threatened orchidCypripedium macranthos var. rebunensemicropropagationprotocorm-like bodies