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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #382822

Research Project: Conservation, Management and Distribution of Citrus and Date Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus

Title: Date Palm Pollen: Features, Production, Extraction and Pollination Methods

item SALOMON-TORRES, RICARDO - Universidad De Sonora
item Krueger, Robert
item GARCIA-VAZQUEZ, JUAN PABLO - Universidad Autonoma De Baja California
item VILLA-ANGULO, RAFEL - Universidad Autonoma De Baja California
item VILLA-ANGULO, CARLOS - Universidad Autonoma De Baja California
item RUIZ-ORTIZ, NOE SALVADOR - Universidad De Sonora
item SAMANIEGO-SANDOVAL, LAURA - Universidad De Sonora

Submitted to: Agronomy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2021
Publication Date: 3/8/2021
Citation: Salomon-Torres, R., Krueger, R., Garcia-Vazquez, J., Villa-Angulo, R., Villa-Angulo, C., Ruiz-Ortiz, N., Samaniego-Sandoval, L. 2021. Date Palm Pollen: Features, Production, Extraction and Pollination Methods. Agronomy. 11(3). Article 504.

Interpretive Summary: Date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) are diecious plants: there are separate male and female trees. Successful production of the date fruit requires pollination. If female flowers are not pollinated, the fruit does not develop and yields, and fruit quality are not acceptable. Although natural pollination occurs, successful date production requires pollination by humans. Male trees flower several weeks earlier than female trees, so male flowers are routinely collected, and the pollen extracted. When the female trees start flowering, pollen is applied to the flowers. This paper provides detailed descriptions of the various techniques for pollen collection, extraction, and application. An estimate is provided of actual pollen needs of female date trees and the number of male trees required to fulfill this need.

Technical Abstract: High yields and high-quality fruits in date production depend on identifying pollen sources that influence these features and the most efficient pollination methods. Efficient pollen extraction and knowledge of the amount pollen needed for successful pollination of specific cultivars also contribute to achieving these objectives. In the present study, a field investigation was carried out in Mexico in which the pollen production of four different cultivars was quantified during the 2020 season and the pollen extraction and pollination methods used were documented. Pollen production per palm varied between 325–1373 g for the four cultivars studies with 747 g being the average; production per spathe was in a range of 10–55 g with 22.25 g as the average. It was determined that 1.5 male palms are required for every 50 females of the ‘Medjool’ cultivar using the pollination method of hand dusting with a squeeze bulb containing the mixture of DPP and flour in a 1:1 ratio. A literature review comparing current techniques in the extraction of date palm pollen and pollination methods used for this crop is also presented. Finally, starting from a scientometric analysis, these methods are discussed and a broad description is made of the attributes of date palm pollen.