Understanding Seed and Protocorm Development in Orchids

  • Edward C. YeungEmail author
  • Yuan-Yuan Li
  • Yung-I Lee
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


In this overview, the development of orchid seed and protocorm is summarized. Although the structural organization of seed and protocorm appears simple, information is presented indicating that they have developmental programs similar to and as complex as other flowering plants. The varied suspensor morphologies, the presence of cuticular material covering the surface of the embryo, and the delicate seed coat structure ensure embryo survival, albeit unusual. The embryo is programmed to form a protocorm. The protocorm cells are destined to form a shoot apical meristem at the apical (chalazal) end and to house the symbiont at the basal (micropylar) end of a protocorm. Changes in protocorms during asymbiotic and symbiotic seed germination are discussed.

Key words

Embryo Suspensor Symbiotic seed germination Asymbiotic seed germination Endosperm Seed storage proteins and lipids Phytohormones Mycorrhizal fungi Seed coat Carapace Protocorm Shoot apical meristem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical CollegeBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Biology DepartmentNational Museum of Natural ScienceTaichung, TaiwanRepublic of China

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