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Rain effect on pollen–stigma adhesion and fertilization in almond

AutorOrtega, Encarnación ; Dicenta, Federico ; Egea, José
Palabras claveFruit set
Pollen–stigma adhesion
Pollen germination
Prunus dulcis
Washing effect
Rainy weather
Fecha de publicación23-abr-2007
CitaciónScientia Horticulturae 112(3): 345-348 (2007)
ResumenThe fact that rainy weather negatively affects production in almond is well-known by growers. However, as far as we know, no previous study has been carried out in this species to determine if the rain is able to wash off pollen grains from the stigma surface and consequently affect fertilization efficiency. To answer this question, flowers of the self-compatible almond cultivar ‘Antoñeta’ were emasculated on branches of trees in the field, pollinated by hand with pollen of the cultivar ‘Marcona’, and sprayed with water to simulate the rain effect at 4, 8, 24 and 48 h after pollination. A control for which no treatment was applied was also included in the assay. Seven days after spraying the flowers, the number of germinated pollen grains on the stigma was recorded in 10 pistils for each treatment by fluorescent microscopic observation. In addition, for each treatment the initial and final fruit set were determined at 30 and 60 days after pollination, respectively. The following year additional assays were performed in the field and in the laboratory in order to complete the study with earlier treatment times. Thus, an assay of rain simulation in the field at 0 and 2 h, and other consisting on immersing a branch with flowers and shaking it in a water container in the laboratory at 0, 30, 60 and 120 min after pollination were performed. One sample more was immersed, shaken, then pollinated and again immersed and shaken. The results from field assays showed that adhesion of pollen grains to the stigma was very quick and strong, and the treatments did not significantly affect pollen–stigma adhesion and subsequent fruit set. On the other hand, laboratory results showed that all washing treatments decreased the number of germinated pollen grains on the stigma, mainly when the flowers were immersed before pollination. In conclusion, the results showed that the simulated rain was not able to completely wash off pollen grains from the stigma surface, although it seems to affect adhesion in forthcoming pollinations.
Descripción4 pages, 4 figures.-- Available online 10 January 2007.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2006.12.043
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