We tested pollen viability of eight species using four vital dyes, a new peroxidase test together with three other established methods (MTT, Baker’s and X-Gal), to determine their potential to differentiate fresh pollen from pollen heated for 2 h and 24 h at 80°C (killed pollen) and compared the results with in vitro germination. We found that two of three dyes previously employed to determine viability also stained killed pollen, while the new peroxidase test and MTT did not. We suggest that the latter two are the best methods to test pollen viability, since they do not normally stain either killed or aborted pollen.
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Received: 7 May 1999 / Revision accepted: 25 October 1999