Orchidaceae constitute one of the largest families of angiosperms. They are one of the most ecological and evolutionary significant plants and have successfully colonized almost every habitat on earth. Because of the significance of plant biology, market needs and the current level of breeding technologies, basic research into orchid biology and the application of biotechnology in the orchid industry are continually endearing scientists to orchids in Taiwan. In this introductory review, we give an overview of the research activities in orchid biology and biotechnology, including the status of genomics, transformation technology, flowering regulation, molecular regulatory mechanisms of floral development, scent production and color presentation. This information will provide a broad scope for study of orchid biology and serve as a starting point for uncovering the mysteries of orchid evolution.
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