The progamic phase in Cichorium intybus L. Pollen tube growth in the style, incompatibility reaction and gametophytic competition
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Pollen germination and tube growth were studied following compatible, incompatible and pseudo-compatible pollinations in chicory. Pollen germination begins 3 minutes after compatible pollinations. The earliest pollen tubes reach the ovary 17 minutes later. Many of the later germinating pollen tubes are arrested and burst at the stigma papillae. In the transmitting tissue inhibitional effects due to negative interactions between pollen tubes are frequently observed. Complete self-incompatibility results in total inhibition of germination. In case of pseudo-self-compatibility, some pollen germinate but germination and stigma penetration are delayed and often result in pollen bursting. There is no self-incompatibility reaction in the transmitting tract but if the pollen tubes reaching this tissue are relatively numerous, negative interactions between them occur as after compatible pollinations. An hypothesis is presented which attributes the negative interactions between pollen tubes to the diffusion of a substance from the growing pollen tubes. This substance would also provoke pollen bursting on the stigma.
Key wordsCichorium intybus incompatibility pollen germination pollen tube growth gametophytic competition
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