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  • Author or Editor: H.F. Rapoport x
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The dramatic postanthesis flower and fruit abscission in olive was found to consist of two distinct but overlapping phases for ovaries following the abscission of imperfect flowers. Imperfect flower abscission peaked 8 days after full bloom (FB), while perfect flower and fruit abscission was greatest between 13 to 15 days after FB. Ovary abscission, expressed as percent ovaries abscising per day (relative abscission rate), peaked 15 and 21 days after FB. The first ovary abscission phase includes fertilized and unfertilized ovaries. The second phase occurs once early fruit growth is in progress, suggesting a possible role for substrate competition.

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We have compared reproductive processes and fruit set in Manzanillo and Frantoio olive cultivars which are reported in the literature respectively as incompatible and partially compatible. The same incompatibility reaction was observed in both cultivars. Pollen tube growth was almost completely inhibited beyond the stigma, but some degree of self-fertilization was accomplished. However, in both cultivars cross-pollination provided a earlier and higher level of fertilization. Differences in self-incompatibility behavior seemed related to the level and the amount of delay in self-fertilization. In the compatible variety, Frantoio, self-pollen tube growth was accomplished more rapidly and showed a higher level of self-fertilization than in the incompatible Manzanillo cultivar. Fruit set matched reproductive behavior.

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