This year at the SIVB meeting each section offered a student poster competition. Posters were judged on scientific merit and presentation:

Abstract (0-10 points):
Poster organization (0-20 points):
Technical Difficulty (0-10 points):
Scientific Soundness (0-20 points):
Presentation of Results and Discussion (0-20):
Originality (0-20 points):
Total (0-100 points):
Ranking (1 = highest; 12 = lowest):

Below are the abstracts of the Plant winners. Cash awards of $100 (First Place) and $50 (Second Place) plus certificates of the awards were provided by Kitchen Culture Kits, Inc. and Caisson Labs LLC.

Judges for Plant posters were Mike Bosela, John Finer, and Mark Jordan. The winning Plant poster graduate students were:

First place – Sukhpreet Sandhu, University of Florida
Second place – Scott L. Stewart, University of Florida

Plant – First Place:

The first place winner of the Graduate Student Plant Poster Competition was also the winner of an SIVB Student Travel Award. Her abstract can be found under student awards.

Fredy Altpeter (center) with first and second place Plant Poster Winners Sukphreet Sandhu and Scott L. Stewart.


Plant – Second Place

Asymbiotic and Symbiotic Seed Germination of Eulophia alta (Orchidaceae) – Preliminary Evidence for Symbiotic Culture Efficiency. S. L. STEWART1, T.R. Johnson1, D. Dutra1, M.E. Kane1, and L. Richardson2. 1Environmental Horticulture Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. 2Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Naples, FL 34114. Email:

Asymbiotic orchid seed germination is often considered the most efficient method of seedling production. However, asymbiotic germination methods do not account for the physiological role of orchid mycorrhizae in seed germination, seedling development, and plant nutrition, and therefore may not necessarily support the rapid germination, growth, and development of orchids in vitro. Symbiotic germination methods may represent a more efficient means of seedling production for some orchid species, especially those of conservation concern. Asymbiotic and symbiotic seed germination experiments using Eulophia alta, a terrestrial orchid from Florida, were designed to compare seed germination percentages under each in vitro germination method. Five asymbiotic germination media were screened for their effectiveness in supporting germination of E. alta-Knudson C, Malmgren Modified Terrestrial Orchid Medium, P723, ½-Murashige & Skoog, and Vacin & Went. Medium P723 supported both the highest final percent germination (87.9%) and most advanced seedling development (Stage 4; 32.7%) when compared to the other four media. Ten mycobionts were screened for their effectiveness in supporting the symbiotic germination of E. alta sown on oat meal agar. Only mycobiont Ealt-396 supported the in vitro symbiotic germination of this species (70.1%). Interestingly, seeds cultured under symbiotic culture conditions not only germinated more rapidly than seeds cultured under asymbiotic conditions, but also developed to a leaf-bearing stage more rapidly. Given that asymbiotic and symbiotic culture conditions were identical, these findings support the notion that in vitro symbiotic seed germination methods may represent a more efficient method for the production of orchid seedlings in vitro.

Fredy Altpeter, Lia Campbell, and Carol Stiff