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Estimation of Pollen Viability in Grain Sorghum


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 40 No. 4, p. 968-970
    Received: May 27, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): mtuinstra@bear.agron.ksu.edu
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  1. M. R. Tuinstra * and
  2. J. Wedel
  1. Kansas State Univ., Dep. of Agronomy, Manhattan, KS 66506 USA


Male fertility of crop plants is a function of pollen production and viability. Differences in pollen production can be evaluated by simple observation, but pollen viability is more difficult to quantify. The objective of this study was to develop an in vitro pollen germination assay for sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]. In experiments evaluating common germination media substrates, large differences in germination were observed in response to changing concentrations of sucrose, boric acid, and calcium nitrate in agar-based media. In vitro germination was maximized following incubation on agar supplemented with 0.9 M sucrose, 2.43 mM boric acid, and 2.12 mM calcium nitrate. The effect of incubation temperature was also significant. Pollen germination was not affected by changes in temperature between 20 and 40°C, but germination was significantly reduced at 10°C.

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