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Tuscia Germplasm Bank - Botanical Garden of the Tuscia University (Viterbo, Italy)

The Tuscia Germplasm Bank is a section of the Botanical Garden of the Tuscia University (Viterbo, Italy), and a member of the ‘Italian Germplasm Bank Network for the ex situ conservation of the native flora’ (RIBES). It is a research centre that deals with ex situ conservation of germplasm of endemic, rare or endangered species of the Italian flora, especially orchids and ferns.
All the field activities, as monitoring of wild populations and harvesting seeds, are made in collaboration with the local section of the GIROS association (Italian Group for Research on Wild Orchids); so far the Germplasm Bank manage to preserve the seeds of about 50 terrestrial orchid species of the genera Anacamptis, Epipactis, Himantoglossum, Limodorum, Neotinea, Ophrys, Orchis, and Serapias. In our orchid researches, we are testing different protocols for in vitro asymbiotic reproduction, investigating the effects of the medium type, of the nitrogen source, of scarifying methods, and, also, of the maturity level of the seeds on the percentages of germination and on the development of protocorms. Particularly, we are testing and comparing the asymbiotic germination capacity within the genera Orchis s.l., Limodorum, and Serapias.
Many of the orchids preserved in the Germplasm Bank are also conserved in vivo at the Botanical Garden (http://www.unitus.it/centri/ortobotanico), where about 30 orchid species are cultivated in a thematic collection, for educational and informative purposes.

Photos: left, Sara Magrini, technical lead, top left,Ophrys garganica, top centre, Orchis purpurea, top right, Serapias vomeracea