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Re: HYB: Pollination

  • Subject: Re: HYB: Pollination
  • From: Linda Mann <lmann@volfirst.net>
  • Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 16:56:04 -0400

From Bill Shear, Oct 21, 1997:
<Experience shows that only one style arm or stigmatic lip need be
pollinated to get a full pod.  However, one pollen grain can only
fertilize one ovule.  Thus if only a  very small amount of pollen were
applied, not all the ovules would be  fertilized.  Pollen grains are so
small that so long as a visible amount is  applied to the stigmatic lip,
there should be enough to pollinate all the  ovules.

There are caveats.  In wide crosses, it is wise to use as much pollen as

                       possible and pollinate all three lips, since
various kinds of
                       incompatibilities will render most of the pollen
ineffectual.  The more
                       pollen, the greater the chance of getting a seed.

Curiously, pollen grains are actually whole individual plants--the males
                       the gameteophyte generation.  Each grain contains
only a few cells.  Some
                       of these cells produce the pollen tube.  When the
pollen grain reaches a
                       compatible stigma, it germinates and a long tube
quickly grows down through
                       the stigmatic tissues to reach the ovules (the
unfertilized seeds within
                       the ovary).  Two sperm nuclei then travel down
this tube.  One fertilizes
                       the egg in the ovule, and produces the embryo
plant, and the other
                       fertilizes the endosperm, or stored food tissue,
within the seed (this is
                       actually a triple fusion, so the endosperm is

Reposted by Linda Mann

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