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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pollination Biology of Lagerstroemia Indica and Several Inter-Specific Hybrids

Authors
item Pounders, Cecil
item Reed, Sandra
item Pooler, Margaret

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2006
Publication Date: March 6, 2006
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Reed, S.M., Pooler, M.R. 2006. Pollination biology of lagerstroemia indica and several inter-specific hybrids. HortScience Vol. 41(3) June 2006.

Interpretive Summary: This paper evaluates barriers to seed production in crapemyrtle.Several cultivars were found to have defective pollen but all had sufficient viable pollen to achieve seed set. Effectiveness of self- and cross-pollinations was assessed by comparing pollen tube growth, seed-pod set, seeds per pod and seed germination. Seed pod set and germination were much lower for self-pollinations as compared to cross-pollinations. Pod set after self-pollinations ranged from 33.6% to 3.7% . Germination of seed generated by self-pollinations was very low ranging from only 4% to 8%. When decreased pod set is combined with much lower germination for self-pollinations, selfing of crapemyrtle is extremely unproductive when compared to cross-pollination.

Technical Abstract: The objectives of this study were to evaluate barriers to successful seed production in crapemyrtle. Male fertility was determined by staining pollen to determine viability. Effectiveness of self- and cross-pollinations was assessed by comparing pollen tube growth, seed-pod set, seeds per pod and seed germination. Over 90% of the pollen of Acoma, Arapaho, Catawba, Osage, Whit IV and Tuscarora stained indicating high viability while approximately 50% of the pollen of Whit VII and Apalachee and 70% of the pollen of Tonto appeared non-viable. Viability of all cultivars was sufficient to achieve pollination. Observation of pollen tube growth after self- and cross- pollination at intervals up to 24 hrs found no barriers to self-fertilization acting at the stigmatic or stylar level in L. indica or interspecific crosses with L. fauriei. Seed pod set and germination were significantly lower for self-pollinations as compared to cross-pollinations for Catawba, Whit IV, Tonto and Tuscarora evaluated as female parents. Pod set after self-pollinations ranged from 33.6% for Catawba to only 3.7% for Tonto. Germination of seed generated by self-pollinations was very low ranging from only 4% to 8%. When decreased pod set is combined with much lower germination for self-pollinations, selfing of crapemyrtle is extremely unproductive when compared to cross-pollination. A late-acting self-incompatibility system or inbreeding depression is indicated for L. indica and interspecific crosses with L. fauriei.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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