Submitted to: Viticulture Science Symposium Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Muscadine grape cultivars grown for fresh fruit consumption yield only half of those grown for juice or wine even though the berries are larger. We initiated this study to determine what step or steps in the reproductive process might be limiting the number of berries produced by various cultivars. We began by studying pollen size and mode of pollination. Although muscadine pollen is very small, wind pollination is probably not important but insects are the primary pollinators. Completion of this study should result in identifying factors that could be manipulated to increase yield of fresh fruit muscadine cultivars.
Technical Abstract: Preliminary studies were conducted on pollen productivity and viability of different cultivars, receptivity of pistils, and mode of pollination. 'Granny Val', 'Tara', and 'Welder' appeared to produce the most and 'Doreen', 'Ison', 'Noble', and 'Magnolia' the least pollen. Pollen viability as estimated by aceto-carmine staining was highest for 'Granny Val', 'Cowart', 'Pineapple', and 'Welder'. Mean pollen diameter from 17 cultivars was only 0.032 mm, suggesting wind as a mode of pollination. This was supported by the presence of pollen on sticky plates inside insect exclusion pollination bags. Of five methods of estimating stigma receptivity, only peroxidase indicator solution successfully identified receptive stigmas.