Enhancing Oncidium Healthy Seedling Management for Superior Quality and Yield

Oncidium is the flower crop with the second largest export value in Taiwan, the export value reaching NT$440 million in 2023. Taiwan Seed Improvement and Propagation Station (TSIPS) has begun to guide cultivators in isolating stock plants for cultivation, increasing virus inspection during the production process, and testing cultivation quality of varieties in different production areas. These enhanced source management techniques aim to elevate production standards and advance the oncidium orchid industry.

TSIPS mentioned that in recent years, there have been frequent problems with the quality of oncidium orchid young plantlets, including poor reproductive efficiency and unstable quality among others. Some of the reasons were found to be related to virus infection. According to virus detection in the production area, the virus infection rate of oncidium orchid plants is as high as 23-47%. The main viruses infected are Cymbidium mosaic virus (CymMV), and some are co-infected with Odontoglossum ringspot virus (ORSV). Virus infection leads to a decrease in the quality of cut flowers and may also reduce the propagation efficiency of tissue culture seedlings by more than 10 times, posing a threat to the industry's stability.

TSIPS pointed out that in order to prevent the risk of virus infection as early as possible, it will provide guidance to the oncidium orchid cultivation farms on how to establish healthy stock plants conservation gardens to preserve high-quality and virus-free stock plants. It also promotes healthy young plantlets production models and supports professional oncidium orchid nurseries to strengthen detection and monitoring management of viruses and plant growth during the tissue culture propagation and plantlets cultivation stages. Through the above methods, three-stage quality management of healthy seedlings is achieved. Finally, it assists cultivators to evaluate the cultivation characteristics of new varieties by conducting cultivation suitability tests in different production areas. To make sure the right variety in the right place and can get good yield and quality.

TSIPS said that with the expansion of the export market and the promotion of new varieties, the plant health management of oncidium orchid has become an imperative project! The Ministry of Agriculture has begun to invest resources to increase relevant research since 2021.This year, it will promote the healthy cultivation system demonstration project of oncidium orchid to assist producers in improving production quality. Producers who are interested in improving quality are welcome to join the project. Let's work together to upgrade the oncidium orchid industry!

Figure 1. Three stages of healthy oncidium orchid seedling management
▲Figure 1. Three stages of healthy oncidium orchid seedling management

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Assistant Researcher

Zhang, Jia-Qi

Senior Researcher and Deputy Director


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