XENIC AND METAXENIC EFFECT OF PHOENIX PUSILLA POLLEN ON CERTAIN DATE PALM CULTIVARS
Pollinated female date palm flowers produce normal date fruits with a seed after fertilization. Un-pollinated flowers produce non-edible parthinocarpic fruits. Pollen from Phoenix pusilla which is closely related to the date palm fertilized the female date palm flowers of three date palm cultivars: Barhi, Majdool and Sultana which were experimented on. The female date palm trees were produced via tissue culture technology and maintained in the KISR date palm orchard, while plants of P. pusilla plants were raised from the seeds. The fruit characteristics of all the three cultivars pollinated by P. pusilla pollen were studied and compared with the fruits produced by the date palm pollen for three successive seasons from 2003-2005. The fruit characteristics such as fruit set, diameter, shape, color, maturity time, taste, flesh weight and yield per bunch were recorded. Seed morphology from the khalal, rutab and tamar stages of fruit maturation were recorded. The study showed that pollen of P. pusilla fertilizes the date palm flowers similar to the date palm pollen in all the three cultivars experimented. Fruit development was similar up to khalal stage in all the three cultivars studied. Significant variations in fruit and seed characteristics were noticed in the rutab and tamar stages. Fruit maturity was delayed when compared to the normal fruits and the fruits were seedless or with rudimentary seeds at maturity. Further studies of pollination with P. pusilla may lead to production of seedless dates and dwarf date palm hybrids.
Sudhersan, C., Jibi Manuel, S. and Al-Sabah, L. (2010). XENIC AND METAXENIC EFFECT OF PHOENIX PUSILLA POLLEN ON CERTAIN DATE PALM CULTIVARS. Acta Hortic. 882, 297-302
Phoenix pusilla, date palm, pollination, metaxenia, xenia