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  • Author or Editor: L. E. Cockerham x
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Pollen stainability, frequency of unreduced pollen grains, and pollen diameter were examined in 13 species and 4 interspecific hybrids of Vaccinium comprising 3 ploidy levels. Pollen in the tetraploid species was potentially more fertile (as judged by stainability) than in the diploid species. Pollen stainability in the hexaploids was not different from the diploids or tetraploids. Four pollen viability classes (good, fair, poor, and very poor) were established among species. Practically all of the species studied produced unreduced pollen grains. Mean pollen diameter was 11% larger in the tetraploids than in the diploids and 11% larger in the hexaploids than in the tetraploids. The normal pollen diameter ranges for the 3 ploidy levels of Vaccinium were calculated and presented as a possible taxonomic tool.

Genetic, rather than seasonal or environmental differences, appeared to account for the major portion of the interclonal and interspecific variation observed in pollen stainability and in the frequency of unreduced pollen grains.

Frequent irregularities observed were empty pollen grains and granular, unstained pollen, which were assumed to represent early postmeiotic abortions. Meiosis was studied in a representative species of each ploidy level. Pairing and segregation were essentially normal, but a few multivalents or pseudo-multivalents (bivalents secondarily associated) were observed in the hexaploid species.

Open Access