EFFECTS OF TIME OF POLLINATION AND OF POLLEN SOURCE ON YIELD AND FRUIT QUALITY OF 'NAJDA' DATE PALM CULTIVAR (PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA L.) UNDER DRÂA VALLEY CONDITIONS IN MOROCCO

A. Zirari
In its strategy of intensifying and extending date palm cultivation, Morocco has succeeded to select and micro-propagate new date palm genotypes known by their high fruit quality and Bayoud disease resistance. ‘Najda’ (INRA-3014) is one of these highly interesting selected genotypes that were distributed as vitroplants to farmers. However, as a newly introduced cultivar, most growers still lack suitable agricultural techniques for its cultivation. The determination of 1) the period at which the female flowers of ‘Najda’ date palm remain receptive for pollination and 2) the most suitable pollinator to induce a metaxenia effect is very important to date palm growers. For this objective, six ‘Najda’ palm trees, 15 years old and grown in the same environment of the Zagora Date Palm Experimental Station, were carefully chosen and used to study the effects of 3 polliniser cultivars including: the Moroccan selected males ‘NP3’ and ‘NP4’, and a normal male usually used by local growers. Another six palm trees were used for the study of the effect of pollination time and were therefore pollinated at 1, 7, 10 and 15 days from female spathe opening. Both experiments were established in a completely randomized block design. Obtained results showed that pollination by ‘NP3’ or ‘NP4’ pollen enhanced fruit maturity by 10 days, and significantly improved fruit length by 1 cm, fruit width by 3 mm and fruit weight by 35% compared to the control. Furthermore, pollinating ‘Najda’ flowers between the 7th and the 10th day after spathe opening induced significant increase in the mean fruit set by 70% while the mean fruit weight remained acceptable (13,14 g). Pollinating earlier or after this period, significantly reduced fruit set which in turn resulted in somewhat higher fruit characteristics. Based on these results, it seems reasonable to conclude that the ‘Najda’ cultivar should be pollinated using ‘NP3’ or ‘NP4’ pollen, particularly between the 7th and the 10th day after spathe opening.
Zirari, A. (2010). EFFECTS OF TIME OF POLLINATION AND OF POLLEN SOURCE ON YIELD AND FRUIT QUALITY OF 'NAJDA' DATE PALM CULTIVAR (PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA L.) UNDER DRÂA VALLEY CONDITIONS IN MOROCCO. Acta Hortic. 882, 89-94
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.882.9
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2010.882.9
date palm, pollination time, metaxenia, fruit set, fruit quality, yield
English

Acta Horticulturae