Submitted to: Journal Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: To determine the berry production efficiency of selected muscadine grape cultivars, pollen production, size, and viability; time of pistil receptivity; mode of pollination; number of flower per cluster; and percentage fruit set were studied. Each of 17 hermaphroditic cultivars except 'Noble' produced a high percentage of viable pollen grains. Pollen size averaged 32 and 51 microns in two years. Even at this small pollen size our observations suggest insects rather than wind as the primary means of pollen transfer to pistillate flowers. Pistils were not receptive until the calyptra dehisced, thereby insuring that pollen can reach the pistil when it is receptive. 'Carlos' produced 68.5 and 'Black Beauty', 'Doreen', 'Fry', 'Sweet Jenny', and 'Supreme' produced from 38 to 46 flowers per cluster. Percentage fruit set ranged from a high of 22 to 34 for 'Fry', 'Sweet Jenny', 'Doreen', and 'Supreme', and a low of 12 to 14 for 'Carlos' and 'Black Beauty'. These results suggest that pollination may not be a problem in present muscadine cultivars. Variation in yield among cultivars apparently relates to genetic differences in cluster number and berry weight.