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  • Author or Editor: Chao Gao x
  • HortScience x
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Camellia oleifera, a major woody oil plant, has a low oil yield because of self-incompatibility. For commercial oil production, compatible pollen and optimal cross-pollination combinations are required. To evaluate the effects of pollination compatibility and pollen source on oil yield and quality, four C. oleifera cultivars—Huashuo (HS), Huajin (HJ), Huaxin (HX), and Xianglin XLC15 (XL)—were subjected to self-, cross-, and natural pollination. Pollen compatibility, oil yield, and quality indices were analyzed. There were no significant differences in pollen germination and tube growth between self- and cross-pollination. Following self-pollination, fertilization was unsuccessful, resulting in severe ovule dysplasia; cross-pollination decreased the ovule abortion rate. Pollen source significantly affected the fruit set, fruit traits, seed traits, and fatty acid content, implying xenia in C. oleifera. In cross-pollinated plants, HX pollen produced more seeds, and HJ pollen increased linoleic acid content relative to naturally pollinated plants. For the XL and HS combinations, linolenic acid contents were significantly higher than other pollination combinations. However, oleic acid content was not significantly affected by pollen source, in any of the cultivars. Cultivar HX was, therefore, the most effective pollen donor, and HS × HX was the optimal cross-pollination combination for improving oil yield and sustainability.

Open Access

This study aimed to investigate the flowering biological characteristics, floral organ characteristics, and pollen morphology of Camellia weiningensis Y.K. Li. These features of adult C. weiningensis plants were observed via light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Pollen viability and stigma receptivity were detected using 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazole chloride (TTC) staining and the benzidine–hydrogen peroxide reaction method. C. weiningensis is monoecious, with alternate leaves and glabrous branchlets. Its flowering period lasts 2 to 4 months, and the flowering time of individual plants lasts ≈50 days, with the peak flowering period from the end of February to the middle of March. It is a “centralized flowering” plant that attracts a large number of pollinators. Individual flowers are open for 12 to 13 days, mostly between 1230 and 1630 hr, and include four to six sepals, six to eight petals, ≈106 stamens, an outer ring of ≈24.6-mm-long stamens, an inner ring of ≈13.4-mm-long stamens, one pistil, and nine to 12 ovules. The flowers are light pink. The style is two- to three-lobed and 16.6 mm long, showing a curly “Y” shape. The contact surface of the style is covered with papillary cells and displays abundant secretory fluid and a full shape, facilitating pollen adhesion. The pollen is rhombohedral cone-shaped, and there are germ pores (tremoids). The groove of the germ pore is slender and extends to the two poles (nearly reaching the two poles). The pollen is spherical in equatorial view and trilobate in polar view. The pollen vitality was highest at the full flowering stage, and the stigma receptivity was greatest on days 2 to 3 of flowering. The best concentration of sucrose medium for pollen germination was 100 g/L. The number of pollen grains per anther was ≈2173, and the pollen-to-ovule ratio was 23,034:1. C. weiningensis is cross-pollinated. Seventy-two hours after cross-pollination, the pollen tube reached the base, and a small part entered the ovary. The time when the pollen tube reached the base after pollination was later than that in commonly grown Camellia oleifera. The results of this study might lay an important foundation for the flowering management, pollination time selection, and cross-breeding of C. weiningensis.

Open Access