Pollination and Seed Production in Viola

in HortScience
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  • 1 Faculty of Agriculture, Miyazaki University, Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan 889-2192

The seed producing system in viola (Viola ×cornuta) was investigated to improve seed yield and to save labor. In a flower five anthers sequentially dehisced; pollen grains were continuously supplied to the anterior petal, which played a significant role in pollination, throughout the flowering period. Evidence from pollen and ovule number suggests that the species is facultative autogamy. Each flower opened more than 10 days was independent of the success in fertilization and kept seed producing ability during the flower longevity period. Pollen grains also maintained viability during the flower longevity period. Pollinators were indispensable for pollination of viola, but pollination in viola was done by a different mechanism from the typical insect-mediated pollination that sticky pollen grains adhere to the exposed stigmas. Pollen grains, accumulated around the entrance of the stigmatic cavity, entered into the cavity by the movement of pollinators. Although the visitation of pollinators was occasional, solitary bees primarily contributed to the pollination of viola. On the other hand, germination of pollen grains on the stigmatic surface was under 50%. Seed set was much lower than the germination percentage of pollen grains. A viola flower had the ability for additional pollinations and fertilization for some days after the fertilization success in some ovules in the flower. This characteristic suggested that repeated pollination is effective to increase the number of mature seeds in a capsule.

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