New Forests

, 39:75 | Cite as

Comparison of different control-pollination techniques for small-flowered eucalypts

  • Tasmien N. Horsley
  • Steven D. Johnson
  • Alexander A. Myburg


Controlled pollination (CP) is a labour-intensive, but useful procedure applied in tree improvement programmes. However, the high costs involved and relatively low seed yields often obtained has, in most cases, necessitated the use of lower quality, open pollinated seed. The aim of the present study was to compare control-pollination methods for combinations among small-flowered eucalypt species. By making crosses within and among Eucalyptus grandis, E. smithii and E. macarthurii, we compared effectiveness, in terms of seed production and level of genetic contamination, of three CP techniques, namely emasculation of bagged flowers and subsequent pollination of receptive stigmas (Conventional method), emasculation and immediate pollination of stigmas with induced receptivity followed by bagging (One Stop Pollination), and pollination of cut styles without emasculation and bagging (Artificially Induced Protogyny). One tree of each species was used as the female in these crosses. Although Artificially Induced Protogyny using ripe and semi-ripe buds produced the highest seeds/flower pollinated in the majority of crosses carried out in this study, the technique, when performed on green buds, resulted in the highest capsule abortion. Molecular analysis using microsatellite markers also revealed that progeny from the Artificially Induced Protogyny method, when using green and semi-ripe buds, were highly contaminated by self- and external pollen. Of the three CP-techniques tested, One Stop Pollination had the lowest genetic contamination. However, this technique also had one of the lowest seed yields, while the Conventional method was intermediate in performance.


One Stop Pollination Artificially Induced Protogyny Controlled pollination Eucalyptus Open pollination Interspecific Intraspecific Selfing 



Many thanks to the late Diana Madondo for her help with the controlled pollinations at the Shaw Research Centre. Thanks also to Elna Cowley at the University of Pretoria for the microsatellite marker analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tasmien N. Horsley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steven D. Johnson
    • 1
  • Alexander A. Myburg
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Biological and Conservation SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalScottsvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Shaw Research Centre, Sappi ForestsHowickSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa

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