Title: Optimising in vitro germination of Calochilus (Orchidaceae)
Applicant: Brendan Janissen
Institution: Aceae Environmental, 35 Sheila Street, Preston Vic.
Calochilus is a genus of orchid with approximately 30 species spread across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia. Of these 30 species, 10% are federally listed as threatened under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. C. richiae is a Victorian species listed as endangered with <20 plants left in the wild. With the continued pressures of climate change (increased temperature and reduced rainfall), this species is likely to become extinct without immediate intervention. Anecdotal evidence suggests Calochilus is recalcitrant to in vitro cultivation, not surviving longer than five years after potting (Department of Sustainability and Environment 2009). Using C. robertsonii as a model species (due to available seed, plants for fungal collection, overlapping habitat and previous reports of fungal compatibility), this study aims to develop germination methods for in vitro propagation of C. richiae.