Self-incompatibility in Cornus florida

in HortScience

Low seed set has been reported following self-pollinations of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.). The objective of this study was to verify the presence of self-incompatibility in C. florida. `Cherokee Princess' stigmas and styles were collected 1, 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 hours after cross- and self-pollinations, stained with aniline blue and observed using a fluorescence microscope. Pollen germinated freely following self-pollinations, but self-pollen tubes grew slower than those resulting from cross-pollinations. By 48 hours after cross-pollination, pollen tubes had reached the bottom of the style while pollen tubes in self-pollinated flowers had only penetrated the upper third of the style. Evidence of reduced pollen tube growth rate in self-pollinations of `Cherokee Chief' and `Cherokee Brave' was also obtained. This study provides evidence of a gametophytic self-incompatibity system in C. florida. It was also determined that stigmas of C. florida `Cherokee Princess' are receptive to pollen from 1 day prior to anthesis to 1 day after anthesis.

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