J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (2): 203-209.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00382.x

Special Issue: Sexual Reproductions

• Development & Photosynthesis • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influences of Cross Pollination on Pollen Tube Growth and Fruit Set in Zuili Plums (Prunus salicina)

Hui-Juan Jia, Feng-Jie He, Cai-Zhen Xiong , Fu-Rong Zhu and Goro Okamoto   

  • Received:2006-03-29 Accepted:2006-06-27

Abstract: Zuili plum trees usually set fruit poorly, although they produce high quality fruit. To elucidate the causes of the poor fruit set, pollen tube growth into pistils and fruit set percentage were investigated after cross-, self- and open-pollination. Ovule development in Zuili pistils was also investigated. Pollen tube penetration into the ovules via the obturator and micropyle was best when Zuili pistils were pollinated by cv. Black Amber (P. domestica L.) pollen grains, although cross-pollinations with Hongxinli and Miili (P. salicina, L.) pollen were more effective than self- and open-pollination. The fruit set percentage was also highest in pistils pollinated with Black Amber pollen grains. Morphological observation of Zuili pistils revealed that the trees produce ‘double pistils’, developing two ovaries from a basal pistil, at a rate as high as 28%. In such abnormal pistils, most ovules were lacking an embryo sac or were entirely degenerated. The percentage of normally developed ovules was 24.3% and 8.9% in normal and double pistils, respectively. From these results, we conclude that the main causes of poor fruit set of Zuili plums are a lack of effective cross-pollination and the production of high percentages of double pistils in which normally developed ovules are scarcely formed.

Key words: double pistils, pollen tube, pollination, poor fruit set, Zuili plum.

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