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Commercial Propagation of Orchids in Tissue Culture: Seed-Flasking Methods

An illustrated laboratory manual


 Orchid Manual Basics



Kay S. Greisen






Media Prep
Sterile Technique
Culture Protocols
Reference Guide



$26.95 (U.S. funds)




New Low Price!

What Is It?

This award-winning illustrated laboratory manual serves as:

  • A reference for current scientists and technicians already using orchid seed-flasking–propagation techniques
  • An instructional guide for future orchid seed flaskers

This manual describes in easily understood language the stepwise process of propagating orchids from seed via 'seed flasking,' a technique based on tissue-culture technology. Cloning techniques are NOT addressed in this volume.

Whether you plan to roll up your sleeves to do your own seed flasking or just want to understand how it's done, this book will give you the basics and much more.

The target audience comprises commercial seed-flasking laboratory staff who are propagating orchid seedlings for retail nurseries and independent growers. However, the manual may also help the home hobbyist.

Follow these links (or scroll down) for further information:

What is Tissue Culture Propagation?   
What are Seed-Flasking Methods?   
What is the Orchid Manual?   
Want to View the Table of Contents?   
Want to View a sample page?   
How Can I Order Commercial Propagation of Orchids in Tissue Culture: Seed-Flasking Methods?   

What is Tissue Culture Propagation?

When referring to plants, the term "tissue culture" is actually a misnomer. With "animal tissue culture," you literally grow isolated tissues; whereas with "plant tissue culture," you grow whole plantlets. Whether starting the culture from seed (ie, seed flasking) or from "explant"—tissue such as a piece of root, stem, leaf, or bud—(ie, cloning), the end product results in a whole plantlet.

For both animal- and plant-derived material, tissue culture techniques involve growing cells under sterile conditions on chemically defined medium using controlled conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and light cycles.

What are Seed-Flasking Methods?

Plants differ from animals in that they can propagate in nature both sexually and asexually. Tissue culture techniques can be used for both types of propagation.

  • "Sexual propagation" refers to reproduction by seed. (seed flasking)
  • "Asexual propagation" refers to that by vegetative tissue—"explant"—such as root, stem, leaf, or bud. (cloning)

With rare exception, asexual propagation always reproduces the same exact plant/flower. Sexual propagation, on the other hand, involves the pollination of a flower with the resultant development of an embryo into a seed. If the male and female parent plants are not genetically identical, the resultant seeds produced can be far from uniform.

Plant breeders can develop new, genetically unique plants through sexual propagation. Seed-flasking methods are the sterile techniques (based on tissue culture) that are used for the sexual propagation of orchids.

What is the Orchid Manual?

While enrolled in a Certificate program in technical communication, Kay S. Greisen researched and started writing this illustrated laboratory manual as part of her early course work. She continued to develop the text and layout through her later courses, applying new principles as they were presented.

The final version of the manual was submitted as a student entry to the 2000-2001 Publications Competition sponsored by The Intermountain Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). The judges granted it an Award of Excellence.

The methods described in the manual are based on those developed and used by a prominent orchid seed-flasking propagator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They include Preparation of:

  • Green Pod for Seed Sowing
  • Split Pod for Dry-Seed Sowing
  • Spread Flask
  • Replate Flask

This informative volume also presents:

  • Pros-and-cons of seed flasking versus cloning
  • Detailed descriptions of media, their components, and preparation
  • Guidelines for using sterile technique
  • A photographic life cycle of orchids grown in seed flasks

An invaluable appendix presents an 8-page table of orchid-pod–collection times, including 471 species/hybrids among 124 genera. A glossary and comprehensive index complete the book.

Added bonus: A removable 8.5"x14" trifold companion Quick Reference Guide (QRG) summarizes all the media and propagation methods presented in greater detail within the book. It guides the user bench-side after he's read and studied the manual.

Comb-bound, softcover book easily lies flat or folds.

  • 8.5"x11" format
  • 53 B&W photographs
  • 74 pages

Indispensable reference for seed-flasking technicians and scientists.

Price of $26.95 (in U.S. funds) per book plus shipping (and sales tax for California). (Choice of shipping speed/cost.)

To 'search inside the book,' go to http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0972227008/qid=1071227769/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-2504344-2764112?v=glance&s=books


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How Can I Order the Orchid Manual?

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Last updated August 10, 2005

Copyright 2001 by Kay S. Greisen
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