Studies on pollen function and pistil development : effects of pesticides and pollen diluents
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The studies 1) determined the potential detrimental impact of various pesticides on pollination, and 2) evaluated suitability of selected dry particulate materials as pollen diluents for use in artificial pollination. Almond pollen germination and tube growth were detrimentally impacted by incorporation of 10 fungicides under in vitro conditions. Fungicides differed in their effects on pollen, suggesting in vitro tests can be used to assess relative toxicity. When sprayed onto apple flowers, captan significantly inhibited pollen germination on the stigmatic surface. By contrast, none of the fungicides evaluated showed significant impact upon pollen function on the stigma and in the style of almond flowers, although, SEM showed they can cause stigmatic papillae collapse and increase exudate secretion. In the pollen diluent study, we identified two promising diluent powders: Rilsan ® ES and polyester resin which may be helpful facilitating artificial pollination by achieving accurate and uniformly metered applications.