Location: Crop Genetics Research Unit
Title: Successful boll development after ovary damage during emasculation of upland cotton flowers Authors
Submitted to: Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2014
Publication Date: June 30, 2014
Citation: Erpelding, J.E., Stetina, S.R., Turley, R.B. 2014. Successful boll development after ovary damage during emasculation of upland cotton flowers. Journal of Plant Breeding and Crop Science. 6:73-76. Interpretive Summary: Flowers of upland cotton have both male and female structures present in each flower. In order to develop new varieties, the male structure is removed from the flower preventing self-pollination. The male structure is easily removed with the flower petals by tearing the petals from the flower using the fingernail. However, any damage to the female structure is considered detrimental to successful boll formation and damaged flowers are typically discarded. This study evaluated different levels of damage to the female ovary to determine if boll formation was reduced. Additionally, 18 cotton varieties were evaluated to determine if some varieties showed better boll formation after ovary damage. Removal of the protective membrane surrounding the ovary reduced boll formation. The greatest reduction in boll formation was observed when the female ovary was damaged by insertion of the fingernail. A similar reduction in boll formation was observed for the 18 varieties, indicating no difference in the respond to ovary damage for the varieties. Although fewer bolls were formed from damaged flowers, the number of bolls formed was still acceptable. The results of this study would recommend that plant breeders consider using flowers with damage to the female structure in crosses to develop new cotton varieties as additional bolls will be produced compare to discarding the flowers.
Technical Abstract: Gossypium hirsutum flowers are easily emasculated by splitting the staminal column with the fingernail and removing the corolla and androecium. However, any damage to the ovary is considered detrimental to successful boll formation and damaged flowers are typically discarded. This study evaluated boll retention after different emasculation treatments. Removal of the membrane surrounding the ovary reduce boll retention compared to self-pollinated flowers and showed a similar response across 18 genotypes. Damage to the ovary wall reduced boll retention compared to emasculated flowers without ovary damage. Damaged flowers could be cross-pollinated to produce additional bolls as compared to discarding the flowers.