The sustainable use of genetic resources for orchids.

  Orchids are in one of the largest families among flowering plants with more than 26000 native species. Orchids are highly diverse, and many species are habitat specific because of their complex life histories. The wild population of several orchids decreased sharply and their threats include illegal collection for horticultural or medicinal markets, ruined habitats, and climate change. To protect these endangered orchid species, expertise and practices of conservation biology and collective participation among scientists and hobbyists are required for the sustainable use of genetic resources for orchids. During the 23rd WOC, the results of 100 orchids conservation projects and the check list of orchid living collections in botanical gardens around the globe will be presented. This provides a great opportunity to exchange expertise and ideas among orchid scientists and hobbyists in the world.



  Orchids colonized all vegetated continents and several subantarctic islands, have one of the broadest latitudinal ranges of all plant families, and occupy a wide range of habitats in epiphytic, terrestrial, and even subterranean forms. They have unique aspects to their biology that result in small-scale and large-scale ecological interactions that differ from other plants. Small-scale interactions that regulate orchid survival and recruitment include highly specialized pollination mechanisms and seed germination processes, as well as threats such as grazing or disturbance. Large-scale processes include dispersal mechanisms that can result in unusual distribution patterns and specific habitat types and impact of climate change. We hope that scientists will report in this topic shareing the unique ecological system of orchid habitat, their pollinators, or their mycorrhizal fungi etc.


Genetics and Development

  Genetics is concerning with genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms. ˊIt seeks to understand the process of trait inheritance from parents to offspring, including the molecular structure and function of genes, gene behavior in the context of a cell or organism (e.g. dominance and epigenetics), gene distribution, and variation and change in populations. Developmental biology studies the processes by which multicellular organisms grow and develop, controlled by their genes. In the past decades, research on the genetics and development of orchid has been greatly advanced. We encourage scientists who report the new and novel discovery on orchid genetics and development fields.



  Breeding novelty orchid hybrids has been a fascinating job for many professionals and amateurs breeders. The goals for breeding may vary according to the demands, such as for commercial market consumption, personal hobby, nature conservation, or modifying specific target genes. Many tools are available for the evaluation of fertility, ploidy, novel colors, and fragrance. A modern tool for precise gene editing is like CRISPR/Cas9 system or widely used genetic modification by either Agrobacterium-mediated transformation or other suitable methods. A recent trend of active breeding is to create some intergeneric hybrids which were not very successful previously, by introducing certain intermediate species or hybrids as bridge so that distant novel hybrids with new traits can be created. One representative example probably is the breeding of intergeneric hybrids among broad sense Vanda, Holcoglossum, Rhynchostylis and Phalaenopsis genera. We expect to bring more presentations and discussions in this 23rd WOC WOC2021 for brain storming strategies of novelty orchid breeding to benefit the general public, research institutions, as well as commercial nurseries.


Cultivation and Physiology

Bases for enjoying orchids

  Although hundreds of millions of orchids are being produced annually, there is always room for further improvements. Better understanding the physiological behaviors of orchids helps develop improved growing technologies for shortening the juvenile period, earlier flowering, faster growth, better flowers, and increased postharvest life. During this conference, the richly exchange of knowledge on various aspects of growing, basic physiology on growth and flowering, hormonal regulation, etc. will help all participants to enjoy orchids more.

Orchid Industry

Commercial and hobby

  Over the past three decades, the global orchid industry has undergone a tremendous unprecedented change. The commercial market targeted to the general public has grown from nothing to billions of dollars in wholesale value, whereas the hobby market has dwindled gradually as the demographics change.  A great many of the hobby orchid businesses have disappeared.  While conserving the natural resources of orchids is needed, we also must explore how to use the resources to breed and produce orchids effectively to fit the demand of both markets.


© Woc 23rd World Orchid Conference Committee

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