In vitro germination of Eucalyptus pollen: Response to variation in boric acid and sucrose
Potts, BM and Marsden-Smedley, JB, In vitro germination of Eucalyptus pollen: Response to variation in boric acid and sucrose, Australian Journal of Botany, 37 pp. 429-441. ISSN 0067-1924 (1989) [Refereed Article]
The effect of boric acid (0-450 ppm) and sucrose (0-40%) on pollen germination and pollen tube growth in Eucalyptus globulus, E. morrisbyi, E. ovata and E. tirnigera was examined in vitro. Over the concentrations tested, sucrose had by far the largest effect upon both pollen germination and tube lengths. The optimum sucrose concentration for pollen germination (30%) and pollen tube growth (20%) differed markedly with very little (<10%) germination occurring in the absence of sucrose. The interaction of sucrose and boric acid was significant. However, in general both pollen germination and pollen tube growth were increased by the addition of up to 100 ppm boric acid, but above this level the response plateauxed. The four species differed significantly in their pattern of response to both boric acid and sucrose and the predicted optima derived from analysis of response surfaces differed between species. The predicted sucrose concentration for optimal germination and growth of E. urnigera pollen was consistently less than the other species and in terms of the optimal level of boric acid for pollen tube growth species can be ranked in the order E. globulus > E. ovata > E. morrisbyi = E. urnigera. Pollen germination and tube growth of all four species on a medium comprising 20% sucrose and 200 ppm boric acid would not differ significantly from the observed maximum response of each species and this could suffice as a generalised medium. However, if only percentage germination is to be assessed 30% sucrose would be preferable. It is argued that subtle interspecific differences in optimal in vitro conditions for pollen germination and pollen tube growth are likely to reflect differences in pollen physiology which in vivo may have important implications for the success of hybridisation where pollen competition occurs.