I went ot this awesome presentation last night. This guy who must be in his late 60s early 70s works in the UF lab compairing DNA of orchids and identifing compounds in their scents. Amazingly after 40 something years of work only one new compound to the plant kingdom has been identified, its the fehimone (sp?) for some type of beetle. He talked all about the different flower structures and why male bees go to them. How you could experiment with male bees (they don't have stingers only females). He also discussed how they used to identify compunds in the 60s by scent then using the really old Mass. specs. to identify whether the compounds were the same. nd of 60 identified compunts they only got 1 wrong.
Well basically it he told how every year they had to go to Ecuador (sp?) or some other South American Country to collect orchids which they then flowered. The flowering plants had their flowers put in a vacuum then the DNA from the flowers(?) was analyized and they check how different species and genus' were related throughout time. It was quite amazing and I think it would be great if someone did that with CPs.
Then the plants that were done flowering are sent to ABG or some other BG usually. One orchid they found had flowers the size of your hand and the flwoer stalk was 20 feet long so it had about 500 flowers at once.
Since much of South America (like everywhere else) is being burned for farms the team goes in and takes all the orchids possible to save them from certain destruction. Seems like a form of conservation we practice (with loc. and everything). He was actually going next week I think to get some orchids from some village in Ecuador because they were going to burn off the rain forest (or cloud forest can't remember which).
There were some rude people there but I tried to ignore them.