MAKING THE CROSS
Consideration like whether the orchid cut flower is going robe sold as individual flowers for coarsage or as cut flower sprays should also be borne in mind before conceptualizing the breeding objective. II it is going lobe marketed as out flower sprays then orientation of flowers should be given major consideration, besides number and size of flowers. Whereas, if it is tube sold as individual flower then orientation of flowers on the raceme may not be a deciding factor. In this case, showynem and the size of flowers should be given much more consideration.
Next step into choose the parents. As help from scientific data is very limited in case of orchid breeding, pre-visualization of the hybrid and the "breeder's eye" to search the characters in the parental lines by seeing beyond the phenotype will play a great role in bringing out success. However, the available information on inheritance of different characters will heel great value in an objective oriented breeding programme. Information like yellow color in Menceruin no contribution of Ascoememor us Worm, yellow and green color in modern Phalamopsis come from Phaiamopsis mromii, whereas pink color comes from P. schillerirma, P. sottderiano and P. Malacca. Blue color in Vforda is dominant over others and size of flowers in many genera follow the pattern of geometric mean of the two parental lines, can help in predicting the outcome of a breeding programme (Arditti, 1992).
Selection of parental lines thus be made depending on;
• The aim.
• Genetic affinity of the parental lines.
• Knowledge of compatibility, chromosome number and behavior.
• Identical flowering season (though not a major consideration, as techniques are available fm storing the pollens).
• Known ability of the parent to influence characters in its progeny.
• Information on whether the parent perforrns well as pollen parent or seed parent
• Vigor and florifenausness of the parent.
• Age and health of the plant very young plants blooming for the first tune should vol be selected as female parent.
The steps involved in making a cross in orchid am as follow.
• Collection of pollen: Pollinia should be removed with a matchstick or toothpick or stainless steel forcep or needle. A gentle pressure or a jerk just below the anther cap will easily dislodge the pollinia. Match slick or toothpicks are preferable as they can be discarded after every single use.
Emasculate the female parent Remove the pollinia from female parent by using a separate toothpick. Pollination Transfer the pollinia of male parent to stigmatic surface of female parent. Bagging The crossed flower should be bagged with perforated butter paper bag.
• Labelling A proper label tag should be placed on the flower to maintain the convert identity of the coons. Record of the cross should also be maintained in a record book.
Best time to make a cross is immediately after the flower is completely open.
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