EFFECTS OF POLLEN SOURCES ON OVULE AND BERRY DEVELOPMENT OF SOUTHERN HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRIES

in HortScience

To study the effects of pollen sources on ovule and berry development in southern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum hybrids), 5-year-old `Sharpblue' plants were moved into a greenhouse for self- and cross-pollination experiments. Cross-pollination with `Gulfcoast' and `O'Neal' as pollen sources increased fruit weight by 58.2% and 54.9%, respectively, compared to self-pollination. Cross-pollination did not affect the number of total and small ovules significantly but did double the number of fully developed ovules and increase the average ovule size by 14%. The increase in number and size of fully developed ovules correlated with the significant difference in berry fresh weight between self- and cross-pollination. Cross- and self-pollination showed good correlations between fruit fresh weight and number or cross-sectional area of fully developed ovules. There was a poor correlation between fruit fresh weight and the number or cross-sectional area of partially developed ovules. This study provides further evidence that berry size in southern highbush is influenced strongly by the development of fully developed ovules.

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