POLLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF TOMATO POLLEN

in HortScience
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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

Air pollution may play a role in gametophytic selection. To estimate whether such selection was occurring, pollen grains from homozygous and heterozygous tomato plants were tested under pollution stress. Homozygous pollen could be expected to respond to pollution more uniformly than heterozygous due to the identical genotype of the pollen grains. Acid rain reduced pollen germination and tube elongation in Lycopersicon hirsutum LA1777 (heterozygous) and Lycopersicon pennellii LA716 (nearly homozygous). UV-B reduced tube length of the pollen from both plants, but ozone only reduced pollen tube length of L. pennellii. The responses of these two kinds of pollen to acid rain, ozone, and UV-B appears to be same in terms of heterozygosity and stress dosages, suggesting the reduction of pollen germination and tube elongation under pollution stress may be mediated through physiological or physical alterations and not a response of different genotypes.

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