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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Cultivated and wild almonds are self-incompatible and thus require outcrossing by insect pollinators to produce viable seed. In commercial production, considerable efforts are directed towards placement and selection of cultivars for cross-pollination. However, since honeybees do not distinguish between the different cultivars, stigmas are usually covered by a mixture of both compatible and incompatible pollen. Using in vitro assays, we demonstrated that pollen extracts promoted germination in self pollen with no inhibitory effects observed. Elemental analyses of pollen extracts showed that enhanced levels of Ca, Mg, K, Na, and P were eluted from the grains. From this, we raise the question of possible interaction between compatible and incompatible pollen, and speculate that incompatible pollen grains may support and enhance germination of adjacent compatible pollen.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Horticulture ; 2: Department of Plant Sciences, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University


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