Effect of Boron and Calcium on in Vitro and in Vivo Lowbush Blueberry Pollen Germination

in HortScience

Ten clones of lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) having low leaf boron (B) concentrations (<20 ppm) were selected to receive fall foliar B (400 ppm), Ca (4000 ppm), B (400 ppm) + Ca (4000 ppm), or water (control). B concentration was raised in stem and bud tissue 3 months after application, but Ca concentration was unaffected. Two randomly selected 5-inch sod plugs from treatment plots within each clone were transported to cold storage at 2.7C for 1000 h to satisfy flower bud dormancy, then to a growth chamber at 24C to blossom. Pollen from plants receiving B had lower in vitro germination rates on 5% agar with 12% lactose after 20 h compared to control and Ca treatments. For in vivo germination, 10 blossoms were randomly selected on sod plugs of each treatment plot to receive 15 control-treatment pollen grains, which were allowed to germinate for 3 days. With the aid of fluorescence microscopy, a higher pollen germination percentage was observed in blossoms of plants receiving B, Ca, and B + Ca. B and Ca may have more influence on the ability of the stigma to stimulate pollen germination than on the germinability of pollen grains themselves.

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