It is of vital importance to reach high qualities and substantial levels of efficiency per unit area when managing commercial fruit orchards. Therefore, orchards should receive regular attention with regard to parameters that can maximize their economic productivity. In addition, it is important for fruit growers to familiarize themselves with the biology of fertilization, especially in relation to the specific cultivars in their orchards, whereby necessary precautions should be considered accordingly (Ajamgard et al., 2017; Özcan et al., 2017; Paydas et al., 1997; Stösser et al., 1996; Sütyemez, 2007; Sütyemez and Eti, 1999).
Apart from some cultivars that yield parthenocarpic fruit, pollination and fertilization need to be studied closely if fruit yield is to be maximized. The first criterion to these processes is the natural development of organs in flowers and the continuous production of pollen with a high percentage of viability (Eti, 1991; Griggs et al., 1971; Linskens, 1964; Norton, 1966; Ozcan et al., 2019; Stanley and Linskens, 1974, 1985; Sütyemez and Eti, 1995; Tosun and Koyuncu, 2007). Pollen quality heavily influences the level of fertilization and the amount of fruit set in different cultivars (Eti, 1990, 1991; Stösser, 1984; Sütyemez, 2007).
In addition to self-incompatibility, it is generally acknowledged that cross-incompatibility can exist among various sweet cherry cultivars that may lead to negative conditions in terms of fruit set (Bekefi, 2004; Beyhan and Karakaş, 2009; Cerovic et al., 1997; Engin and Ünal, 2002; Gerçekcioğlu et al., 1999; Pirlak, 2002; Schuster et al., 2007; Stösser et al., 1996; Sutyemez, 2011).
In addition to the selection of a main cultivar to be planted in a sweet cherry orchard, the existence of a suitable pollinizer is also of utmost importance. The flowering period of the selected pollinizers should coincide with that of the main cultivar. The pollinizers should produce a sufficient amount of pollen and should not display incompatibility. Therefore, the viability and germinability of pollen should be high to have successful fertilization. The viability and germinability of pollen are also influenced by environmental conditions and particularly temperature (Bolat and Pırlak, 1999; Eti, 1991; García and Egea, 1979; Ozcan et al., 2019; Polito and Luza, 1988; Sadat Hosseini Grouh et al., 2011; Stösser et al., 1996; Tosun and Koyuncu, 2007; Visser, 1955).
Although some cherry varieties are compatible with each other, they do not bloom during the same period. Therefore, significant decreases may be seen in fruit set. The preservation of pollen in cherry orchards and using it in artificial pollination the following year may be an alternative to this problem. In addition, no research on pollen quality based on storage of cherry pollen at chilling temperatures has been recorded.
This study evaluated how the pollen of several sweet cherry cultivars responded qualitatively to different storage temperatures (i.e., cold and subzero) for different durations.
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