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Induction of male flowering in gynoecious cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) by silver ions


Silvernitrate (AgNO3) and silverthiosulphate (Ag(S2O3)2 3-) effectively induced male flowering in many nodes of 7 gynoecious cucumber genotypes in 3 glasshouse trials. A single spraying of the plants in the first true leaf stage with 3 mM Ag+ as Ag(S2O3)2 3- or AgNO3 (500 ppm) yielded many more staminate flowers than GA-3 (1500 ppm) and almost as many as 3 consecutive sprayings of GA-4/7 (50 ppm).

Male flowering started about 3 weeks after treatment and lasted for a period of up to 4 weeks thereafter. Plants treated with silver ions did not elongate and grew normally; effective concentrations of AgNO3 proved phytotoxic only in poor growing conditions, while Ag(S2O3)2 3- never gave deleterious side-effects. Even very strongly female lines can be induced to male flowering with silver ions, thus increasing the feasibility of large scale seed production of gynoecious × gynoecious cucumber hybrids.

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Den Nijs, A.P.M., Visser, D.L. Induction of male flowering in gynoecious cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) by silver ions. Euphytica 29, 273–280 (1980).

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Index words

  • Cucumber
  • Cucumis sativus L.
  • sex expression
  • silvernitrate
  • silverthiosulphate
  • gibberellin
  • anti-ethylene action
  • male flowering induction