pbs Digest, Vol 50, Issue 2

Erik Van Lennep via pbs pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net
Fri, 02 Apr 2021 07:49:11 PDT
As has been mentioned, embryo rescue (and just plain seed sowing on agar
under sterile conditions) is pretty routine with orchids.
But here's one way they differ from other seeds: orchid seeds have no
endosperm. They opted to do without it to enable more effective wind
transport, I guess.
My understanding is that much of the infertility in wide hybrids is due to
an incompatibility between seed and endosperm. Since orchids have found a
work-around, their genetic fluidity continues to vex taxonomists and others
of our species who like to push other organisms into tidy boxes :).

Makes sense that embryo rescue might be promising for species whose seeds
normally pack a lunch in the form of endosperm.


On Fri, 2 Apr 2021 at 16:38, Robert Lauf via pbs <
pbs@lists.pacificbulbsociety.net> wrote:

> ... My general sense, based on total ignorance, is that altho the pollen
> succeeds in uniting with the ovule, perhaps the mother plant simply doesn't
> recognize it as her offspring and doesn't expend the energy needed.
> Perhaps analogous to miscarriages of genetically defective mammals in some
> tenuous way.....
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