Elucidation of the germination mechanism of orchids that depend on symbiotic bacteria for nutrition

October 12, 2023

For conservation of endangered species using germination stimulators

Nearly 30,000 species of orchids have been identified, making it one of the most species-rich groups of angiosperms, along with Asteraceae. With their high versatility, orchids have been attracting many gardeners. On the other hand, as many species of orchids are difficult to artificially germinate or cultivate, wild plants have been excessively harvested in mountains, driving many species to the verge of extinction. A research group from Tottori University, Kobe University, University of the Ryukyus, RIKEN CSRS, National Institute for Basic Biology, and Chiba University has discovered that genes necessary for mycorrhizal symbiosis are automatically activated through the inactivation of the plant hormone gibberellin (GA) during the germination of orchids.

The use of gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitors as germination promoters is expected to lead to the conservation of endangered orchids.

Original article
Plant Physiology doi: 10.1093/plphys/kiad517
C. Miura, Y. Furui, T. Yamamoto, Y. Kanno, M. Honjo, K. Yamaguch, K. Suetsugu, T. Yagame, M. Seo, S. Shigenobu, M. Yamato, H. Kaminaka,
"Auto-activation of mycorrhizal symbiosis signaling through gibberellin deactivation in orchid seed germination".
Mitsunori Seo
Senior Visiting Scientist
Mass Spectrometry and Microscopy Unit