Study on pollen morphology and germination of ‘Pavia’ lilium [Lilium longiflorum] (Narendra Singh Bhandari)

ISHS Secretariat
Study on pollen morphology and germination of ‘Pavia’ lilium [Lilium longiflorum] (Narendra Singh Bhandari)

Lilium (commonly known as lily) is one of the most important bulbous flower genera belonging to the family Liliaceae, and is native to temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. It is used for cut flower production, pot plant production and landscaping purposes. Each year the interest in lilies increases around the world. Presently they hold the fourth position among cut flowers in world flower trade. Pollen is a unique plant tissue that potentially can be used and manipulated to the advantage of the geneticist, breeder, physiologist and germplasm curator. A pollen morphology and pollen germination study of Lilium ‘Pavia’ was carried out at ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IHR), Bengaluru. Various morphological characteristics like pollen shape, size of pollen, and exine ornamentation were studied. Shape of pollen was elliptical to ellipsoid with reticulate exine. The ability of pollen to germinate before and after anthesis was tested. An in vitro germination test of pollen was conducted by the wet room method; nutrient media for pollen inoculation had different concentrations of sucrose, poly ethylene glycol (PEG), and Brewbaker & Kwack’s Salt. The pollen germination capacity was determined at set intervals, thereby establishing the dynamics of this process for three days. Germination was initiated within 45 minutes and the highest germination (70%) was recorded on a medium with 3% sucrose, 1.5% PEG and Brewbaker & Kwack’s Salt after 24 hours. The pollen harvested 1 hour after anthesis gave maximum germination (70%). The pollen germinated poorly (5-10%) when harvested before anthesis or one day after anthesis. During the first 24 hours after inoculation, pollen showed significantly improved germination as compared to second and third day germinated pollen on the same media. Based on this investigation, it was concluded that pollen harvested one hour after anthesis is the most suitable for hybridization, using the cut style method to overcome the self incompatibility barrier, for development of new lily hybrids under tropical conditions.

Narendra Singh Bhandari won an ISHS student award for the best oral presentation at the International Symposium on Horticulture: Priorities and Emerging Trends in India in September 2017.

Narendra Singh Bhandari, Ph D Scholar (ICAR-SRF), Division of Ornamental Crops, ICAR - Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi, 110012, India, e-mail:

The full article is available in Chronica Horticulturae

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