Faculty of Biology of Universitas Gadjah Mada with its Biotechnology Laboratory is currently pioneering the development of Gama Orchid. This Gama orchid is a hybrid of different types of natural orchids in Indonesia. One of them is hybrid of Vanda tricolor orchid species that exists on the slopes of Mount Merapi with Vanda limbata that can be found in the Nusa Tenggara island.
Head of the Biotechnology Laboratory in Biology Faculty, Dr.rer.nat. Ari Indrianto, S.U. explained that later the development of Gama orchid will be conducted at the Biotechnology Laboratory and Education, Research and Development Station (KP4) of UGM. According to Ari, development of this orchid hybrid species is made in bottles or pot models.
"Indonesia is rich with various types of natural orchid, such as the Vanda tricolor and Vanda limbata type," said Ari on the sidelines of the contract signing and the proposal presentation of incubation research in the Faculty of Biology, Tuesday (14/2). In the presentation Ari was accompanied by other researchers, namely Aries Bagus Sasongko, S.Si., M.Biotech. The incubation research is one program of Indonesia Managing Higher Education for Relevance and Efficiency (I-MHERE).
Ari as a recipient of incubation research grants added that some people are not interested in the development of natural orchids because these are less beautiful. In fact, natural orchids have its own advantages compared to the hybrid orchid as they are more fragrant and thicker, thus they will last longer and not easily wither.
"Some people consider the shape and color of natural orchids are not beautiful. While in fact there is another advantage of this orchid like its fragrance," said Ari.
According to Ari, special attention has not been given to the development of bottled natural orchid seeds in the community despite the need. This condition results in a lucrative agribusiness opportunity. On the other hand, the natural orchid seedlings cultivation can reduce dependence on natural orchids in its habitat that will sustain the preservation of natural orchids.
"Well, the packaging of bottled orchid seeds is attractively designed but still considering the main factor which is to support the life of the seeds. This is expected to increase public interest in bottled natural orchid seeds," said the doctoral graduate of Vienna University, Austria.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of I-MHERE UGM, Dr. Ir. Cahyono Agus Dwi Koranto, M. Agr. Sc., hoped that a variety of research that has been done will be beneficial to the community and worth selling. In addition, the research that has been conducted is expected to be published in international journals and there will be collaboration with other universities.
"Do not let the research result pile up on the shelves. There are real benefits and selling value in it. Invite international universities for research collaboration," said Cahyono.
As it is known, orchid plants belonging to the family of Orchidaceae has long been recognized by the public, both as ornamental plants or decorative flowers. In this world, it is estimated there are about 20,000 species of orchids with some spread in the tropics. In the Indonesian archipelago, it is estimated there are approximately 5,000 species of orchids from Sabang to Merauke, making Indonesia the country the world's richest orchid species.