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Pollen-pollen interactions in Pinus sylvestris

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Direct pollen-pollen interactions can influence pollen fertilization ability when pollen from different donors and origins germinate on the same flower. In this study, in vitro germination tests were used to study direct pollen-pollen interactions in Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.). Pollen from southern (S, latitude 61° N) and northern (N, latitude 68° N) origins was germinated separately and in pairs at two temperatures (16 and 20°C), and pollen germination percentages and pollen tube lengths of the samples were analysed. The observed pollen performances of the two-donor pollen mixtures were compared with the mean performances of the pure pollen samples germinated in isolation. The significant difference between the observed and expected pollen performances indicated pollen-pollen interactions. Among S×S mixtures, only negative pollen-pollen interactions (= interference) were detected, while only positive interactions were found among N×N mixtures. Both types of interaction were substantially more frequent at the lower temperature. In general, direct pollen-pollen interactions during in vitro germination were rather infrequent and are not likely to have substantial influence on fertilization abilities in vivo in seed orchards or in natural forest stands of Scots pine. However, direct pollen-pollen interactions can be more pronounced among certain genotypes, which should be considered in artificial crossing experiments using pollen mixtures.
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Keywords: In vitro germination; Scots pine; pollen interference; pollen tube growth; seed orchard

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Applied Biology University of Helsinki P.O. Box 27 FI-00014 Finland

Publication date: 01 June 2004

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