Observations on floral biology of several olive 'Leccino' clones

S. Bartolini, R. Viti
In the frame of an olive selection program developed at two Italian university institutions, several clones of cultivar 'Leccino' stood out for their interesting morphological and agronomical characteristics, which differ from those of the standard cultivar. This study aimed to obtain further information on four clones, mainly focusing on observations of floral quality, pollination and fertilization processes. Over three consecutive years, for each genotype grown in an olive experimental orchard under Tuscan environment (central Italy), aspects taken into account were: morphological characters of the inflorescence (structure, flower number and gender, ovary structure); viability and germination of pollen grains in in-vitro culture; self-compatibility evaluation by means of fluorescence microscopy to follow pollen tube growth ability in vivo; and fruit set on self- and free-pollinated flowers. Over the tested growing seasons, variability was observed in relation to flower morphology and floral quality parameters. In general, pollen grains showed satisfactory levels of viability and germinability. Fluorescence microscope observations showed that pollen tubes were able to reach ovules when flowers were self-pollinated, in spite of the fruit-set rate recorded under field conditions. Results on the degree of self-compatibility could shed light on the constant productivity, which is one of the main traits of these interesting olive clones.
Bartolini, S. and Viti, R. (2018). Observations on floral biology of several olive 'Leccino' clones. Acta Hortic. 1199, 145-152
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1199.24
Olea europaea L., floral quality, pollen, self-compatibility, temperature

Acta Horticulturae