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I. David van der Walt and Gail M. Littlejohn

The influence of storage temperature and humidity on pollen viability was studied in four Protea species. Pollen was stored at a range of temperatures and relative humidities for up to 1 year and tested for ability to germinate in vitro. Pollen of P. repens (L.) L. `Sneyd', P. eximia (Salisb. ex Knight) Fourcade `Fiery Duchess' and P. magnifica Link. clone T 84 07 05 stored at -196 °C and -14 to -18 °C retained a germination percentage as high as that of fresh pollen regardless of humidity. Humidity control became increasingly important at storage temperatures above 0 °C. The study showed that long-term storage of Protea pollen is not feasible at temperatures above 0 °C. The relationship between germinability and fluorochromasia (FCR) was studied during storage of `Sneyd' pollen. The correlations between FCR and germinability were found to be low and nonsignificant. Fifteen-month-old cryopreserved `Sneyd' pollen functioned in fertilization and seed set as effectively as fresh pollen.