Pollen Tube Growth in Carya and Temporal Influence of Pollen Deposition on Fertilization Success in Pecan

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science

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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