Fertility and pollen tube growth in polyploid melons (Cucumis melo L.)

Susin, I.; Alvarez, J.M.

Euphytica 93(3): 369-373


ISSN/ISBN: 0014-2336
DOI: 10.1023/a:1002904817971
Accession: 002841267

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The high sterility of tetraploid melon (Cucumis melo) plants is a serious hindrance to obtaining economically useful polyploid lines. In order to study diploid pollen tube growth and its influence on sterility, in vitro and in vivo pollen tube growth from three commercial varieties and their tetraploids was observed. Polyploid pollen grains showed a lower germination percentage in vitro and a slower germination rate than haploid pollen. Furthermore, diploid pollen grains producing two or three tubes and tube branching were observed on diploid pollen; this seems to indicate a decrease in its functionality. In vivo and in vitro pollen behaviour were similar, but an interaction between pollen and pistillar tissue was detected in vivo. In the diploid x tetraploid cross, where fruits were not obtained, pollen tubes showed a slow growth rate at the base of the pistil.