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Crop Science Abstract -

Male Gametophyte of Zea mays L. I. Some Factors Influencing Fertilization1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 7 No. 5, p. 441-444
    Received: July 30, 1965

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  1. D. B. Walden2



Geneticists and breeders have standard procudures of pollen and ear shoot preparation for controlled pollination of corn, but meager data are available to quantify comparisons of techniques. Three experiments were conducted in which limited, controlled numbers of pollen grains were applied at various times to prepared and unprepared ear shoots of a single-cross hybrid, Oh 51At ✕ B8. Genetic constitution of pollen and ovule parents permitted detection of contaminant kernel.

Cutting to a brush the silks on ear shoots resulted in significantly more seed set than using uncut or freshly cut ear shoots. Hour of pollination and the time required for pollen tube establishment in the distal 3 cm of silk were tested, Five to 10 hours were required for 3 cm of pollen tube growth; pollinations made before 2 PM required 5 to 7 hours, while pollinations made after 4 PM until 10 PM required successively longer periods. The longevity of corn pollen was estimated. Viable pollen grains were recovered after 292 hours of storage at + 2 C. Pollen may be shipped around the world in a viable condition. It was concluded that the techniques used by most corn workers provided optimal opportunity for seed set.

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