In 2013, the phalaenopsis seed pods that have traveled in space for 15 days on the "Shenzhou-10 spacecraft" were selected ad bred by technical experts for 7 years after the spacecraft landing. 15 excellent individual plants stood out from more than these 6000 “space phalaenopsis”. "After four stages of selection, these individuals, in general, showed strong disease resistance and short maintenance cycle." Mrs. Zhang Aixia, deputy general manager of Zhenxing Agricultural Technology Co., Ltd (Hereinafter referred to as Zhenxing Co., Ltd)., introduced that after further comparison, the city will apply for new plant variety rights of these “space phalaenopsis” and further can be regarded as the main variety of high-end flowers exported abroad.
On June 11, 2013, a phalaenopsis seed pod selected and sent by Zhenxing Co., Ltd entered space together with the "Shenzhou-10 spacecraft" and was bathed in cosmic rays for 15 days under weightless conditions. After returning to the earth, the pod was taken back to the aseptic inoculation room of Zhenxing Co., Ltd for cultivation. In the past 7 years, the phalaenopsis seeds combed out of that pod have undergone parental selection, aseptic culture, cultivation, and selection of flowering offspring. A total of 15 plants were selected based on indicators such as flower type, flower color, inflorescence, pedicel height, and flower number.
In the intelligent greenhouse of Zhenxing Co., Ltd, three “space phalaenopsis” are blooming brightly, and the pink petals are spread out. "The flower diameter is large, generally between 12 and 14 cm, and they are all of the same colors." Mrs. Zhang introduced that the biggest technical problem in phalaenopsis cultivation is the appropriate control and change of flowering period, flower type, and color. It only takes 10 months from cultivation to flowering, which is two or three months shorter than conventional strains, and the seedlings are robust and hardly get sick.
The reporter has learned that the scientific research and cultivation of these 15 phalaenopsis strains has now entered the fifth stage, which is the stage of selecting individual plant tissue culture and testing. At present, in addition to 3 strains that are in the flowering stage, 2 strains are in the maintenance stage, and the other 9 strains are in the tissue culture stage. Compared with the ordinary phalaenopsis, the “space phalaenopsis” has a better appearance, with more flower buds, and the flower diameter is about 1 cm longer than the ordinary ones, and they are neatly arranged.
"In the next step, we plan to select one or two of these 15 strains and declare new variety rights." Mrs. Zhang said that the successful cultivation of the “space phalaenopsis” is a major breakthrough in the city's space breeding technology. It is foreseeable that the comprehensive production cost required for phalaenopsis cultivation will be greatly reduced, thereby achieving both increases in economic benefits and market productivity. As a new line of phalaenopsis independently cultivated by Lianyungang City, the “space phalaenopsis” will be "outstanding" in domestic and foreign flower markets.