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Effects of varying pollen load on fruit set, seed set and seedling performance in apple and pear

Abstract

Two apple crosses and one pear cross were carried out using three different pollen densities. In one of the apple crosses, both fruit and seed set decreased when a mixture of pollen and powder (diluted pollen treatment) was used for pollination. Also, seedlings from the undiluted treatment were more vigorous than those originating from pollination with diluted pollen. In the other apple cross, however, no effect on fruit set, seed set or growth in the first year was found. Mean diameter after the second year differed among treatments, but did not seem to be related to pollen density. For pear, the number of good seeds decreased and the number of deaf, probably unfertilized, seeds increased with decreasing pollen density. However, there was no apparent significant effect of pollen density on seedling growth. With respect to scab resistance and mildew attack in both apple crosses, no differences among treatments were found. The results indicate that gametophytic competition may occur in apple crosses, but that it is probably weaker in pear.

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Janse, J., Verhaegh, J.J. Effects of varying pollen load on fruit set, seed set and seedling performance in apple and pear. Sexual Plant Reprod 6, 122–126 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00227656

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Key words

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Pollen
  • Gametophytic competition
  • Seedling vigor