In vivo pollen tube growth of pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] was estimated to be ≈ 150 μm·hour-1 from 3 to 8 hours postpollination. Pollen tubes averaged 47, 194, 405, and 946 μm after 2, 3, 4, and 8 hours postpollination, respectively. Pollen tube growth was strongly influenced by temperature, and in vitro studies demonstrated pollen germination and tube growth were optimal at 27C for `Cape Fear' pecan. In in vivo studies, tubes of cross-pollen did not grow significantly faster than tubes of self-pollen. Pollen tubes of water hickory [C. aquatica (Michx. f.) Nutt.] grew significantly faster than those of C. illinoinensis. Bitternut [C. cordiformis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] and mockernut hickory (C. tomentosa Nutt.) pollen tubes grew significantly slower on pecan stigmas than did pecan pollen. Pollen arriving first on the stigma has a decided advantage for fertilization success of pecan. The fertilization success rate of pecan pollen arriving 24 hours after first pollen arrival was <3%.
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