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Crop Science Abstract -

Relationship of Pollen and Pistil Characteristics with Self- and Cross-Compatibility in Alfalfa1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 10 No. 1, p. 59-61
    Received: June 30, 1969

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  1. James S. Rice,
  2. C. L. Wang and
  3. Elmer Gray2



The relationship of pollen and pistil characteristics to self- and cross-compatibility was studied in ‘Buffalo’ alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Fifty-three plants were selfed and 11 of these plants were crossed in a diallel design. Percentage of flowers producing pods, seeds/pod, and seeds/flower were used as compatibility indexes. Pollen tube length and pollen viability, as determined in vitro, and pistil length, style length, and number of ovules/ ovary were studied.

Pollen characteristics were more closely associated with self- and cross-compatibility than were pistil characteristics. Pollen tube length was positively associated with the three indexes for both self- and cross-compatibility. Pollen viability was positively correlated with each of the three indexes of cross-compatibility, but only with percentages of flowers producing pods for self-compatibility. None of the pistil characteristics was significantly correlated with any index of cross-compatibility. Style length was negatively correlated with seeds/pod for selfcempatibility.

General, specific, maternal, and reciprocal effects were estimated from the diallel cross for each index as reported by Rice and Gray (13). Pollen tube length was significantly correlated with general effects for each index. Pollen viability was significantly correlated with general effects for seeds/pod and seeds/flower. None of the other effects was significantly correlated with the measured pollen or pistil characteristics.

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