Phytohormone and Assimilate Profiles in Emasculated Flowers of the Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) during Development


Emasculation and bagging of flowers, which are widely used in the controlled pollination of monoclinous plants, may induce premature senescence, flower abscission and low fruit set. To determine the mechanism responsible for these phenomena, levels of abscisic acid (ABA), jasmonic acid (JA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), ethylene, soluble sugars, reducing sugars and free amino acids in black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) flowers subjected to different treatments were quantified at different developmental stages. The phytohormones and assimilates were also quantified in untreated flowers to investigate the presence of discernible patterns. The levels of ethylene and ABA in emasculated and bagged (EB) flowers increased prematurely compared with those of untreated flowers, whereas the content of reducing sugars in EB flowers decreased compared with that of untreated flowers. These results indicated that the premature increase in ethylene and ABA synthesis, and the decrease in reducing sugars content, in EB flowers may cause flower abscission and result in low fruit set, which may be relevant for assimilate applications and future research on the regulation of controlled pollinations with exogenous phytohormones.



abscisic acid


emasculation and bagging


gas chromatographymass spectrometry


indole-3-acetic acid


jasmonic acid


response to injury induced by emasculation


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The authors thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31170629) for financial support, and Prof. Xiangning Jiang, Ms Huajun Chen and Miss Zhaolin Lv for technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Yun Li.

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Sun, P., Yuan, C., Dai, L. et al. Phytohormone and Assimilate Profiles in Emasculated Flowers of the Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) during Development. BIOLOGIA FUTURA 64, 364–376 (2013).

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  • Robinia pseudoacacia
  • emasculation
  • controlled pollination
  • flower senescence
  • phytohormones and assimilates