Pollen germination timing has a paramount role in fertilization of a flower. Rapid germination and outgrowth of a pollen tube that penetrates the stigma is required. Physical and biological factors can affect pollen germination timing. The objective of this study was to determine if ACC oxidase antisense gene expression could influence in vitro pollen germination and in vitro pollen tube length growth. A transgenic (ACC oxidase antisense) `Galia' male parental line had a reduced fruit set compared to its wild type. Likewise, embryo abortion and empty seeds after self-pollination in a `Galia' male parental line were observed. Wild type and transgenic `Galia' male parental line melon plants were grown in a greenhouse according to the practices of Rodriguez (2003). Male flowers were collected from these plants between 10 to 12 am; pollen was obtained by dipping the anther in germination medium (10.25% sucrose, 0.031% calcium nitrate, 0.015% boric acid, 0.0075% KNO3, and 0.016% MgSO4) at 25 °C and analyzed immediately, either for total percentage of germination after 5 minutes of incubation or to measure pollen tube growth rate every 5 minutes during 1 hour. Each flower provided an average of 250 pollen grains. Assays were conducted by using the “Hanging Drop Method” (Okay and Ayfer, 1994). Percentage of pollen germination in WT `Galia' male parental line was greater than the transgenic line. Likewise, in vitro pollen tube growth in wild type `Galia' melon was greater than pollen from the transgenic line. Possibly the ACC oxidase antisense gene expression in `Galia' male parental line may have had an influence on the reduced fruit set observed.
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