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Pollen viability of Salix myrtilloides L. – an endangered species in Poland

Pogorzelec, Magdalena, Serafin, Artur, Banach-Albińska, Barbara, Szczurowska, Agnieszka, Parzymies, Marzena, Bronowicka-Mielniczuk, Urszula
Acta agrobotanica 2016 v.69 no.4 pp. aa.1679
Salix myrtilloides, endangered species, gene pool, glucose, landscapes, males, peatlands, pollen, pollen tubes, reproductive success, staining, swamps, temperature, viability, Poland
Salix myrtilloides L. (swamp willow) is the most endangered species among the boreal Salix species in Poland. The number and size of its population have been decreasing constantly since the 1990s. The main aim of the study was to determine the viability of collected S. myrtilloides pollen and optimal conditions for its in vitro germination. The pollen of S. myrtilloides was collected from 25 male individuals from a population growing in the mid-forest peat bog Dekowina (Sobibór Landscape Park) in May 2014. Two methods were applied to estimate the viability of fresh and stored pollen: staining pollen with 2% acetocarmine solution and in vitro germinability. Various temperature (11°C, 23°C) and light conditions as well as different concentrations of glucose (1%, 2.5%, 5%, or 7.5%) were tested for the optimization of in vitro germination. We documented relatively high S. myrtilloides pollen viability. Pollen tube growth was found to be largely affected by both glucose content in the medium and thermal conditions during germination. Fresh pollen germinated most effectively on the medium with 2.5% glucose (stored pollen – in 5% glucose), at 23°C and in the presence of light. We conclude that pollen viability of S. myrtilloides does not seem to be a limiting factor for reproductive success. Moreover, the pollen is not sterile even after storage for 12 months. The S. myrtilloides individuals from the Dekowina peat bog produce viable pollen grains that are able to germinate and therefore it can be used to pollinate other populations present in the Polesie Lubelskie region for gene pool enrichment.