Fluorescence microscopy as a tool for determining self-incompatibility in apricot cultivars
Fluorescence microscopy is a relatively rapid and reliable method to determine self-incompatibility in fruit-tree species. It is based on observation of pollen-tube growth in the pistils. Pollen tubes stained with fluorochromes show fluorescence when exposed to ultraviolet light. Testing of the self-compatibility trait was carried out in 123 apricot cultivars using fluorescence microscopy. In self-compatible cultivars, in the majority of pistils (60-100%), the pollen tubes reached the ovary. In contrast, in self-incompatible cultivars, pollen tubes growth ceased in the style, with plugs forming at their tips. In these cultivars, pollen tubes rarely (0-30%) reached the base of the style. Although apricot cultivars of the European eco-geographical group are traditionally considered self-compatible, we identified many self-incompatible cultivars, especially among those originating from new North American and West European breeding programs. About half (62) of the studied cultivars were self-incompatible. Given that self-incompatibility occurs frequently among new apricot cultivars, special care should be taken when considering cultivar composition in new orchard plantings.
Milatović, D., Nikolić, D., Radović, A. and Krška, B. (2018). Fluorescence microscopy as a tool for determining self-incompatibility in apricot cultivars. Acta Hortic. 1214, 7-14
Prunus armeniaca, self-incompatibility, pollen tube growth, fluorescence microscopy