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Pollen Grain Preservation and Fertility in Valuable Commercial Rose Cultivars

Giovannini, Annalisa, Macovei, Anca, Caser, Matteo, Mansuino, Andrea, Ghione, Gian Guido, Savona, Marco, Carbonera, Daniela, Scariot, Valentina, Balestrazzi, Alma
Plants 2017 v.6 no.2
Rosa, breeding programs, cultivars, cut flowers, flowering, freezers, markets, parents, plant breeding, plant fertility, pollen, pollen germination, seeds, temperature, viability, Africa, Europe, North America, South America
In the cut flower market, traditional breeding is still the best way to achieve new rose cultivars. The geographical delocalization of cultivar constitution (generally made in Europe and North America) and plant cultivation (large areas in Africa and South America) represents a limit point for crossing and selection. Rose breeders often need to overcome geographical distances, resulting in asynchrony in flowering among crossing parents, by storing and sending pollen. Hence, a key aspect in breeding programs is linked to pollen availability and conservation, jointly with the identification of parameters related to pollen fertility. In this study we present the results of three different trials. In the first, pollen diameter and pollen viability were chosen as fertility predictors of 10 Rosa hybrida commercial cultivars. In the second trial, aliquots of dried pollen grains of six R. hybrida cultivar were stored under two different temperatures (freezer at T = −20 °C and deep freezer at T = −80 °C) and after a wide range of conservation period, their viability was measured. In the third trial, the effective fertilization capacity of frozen pollen of 19 pollen donor cultivars was evaluated during 2015 crossing breeding plan, performing 44 hybridizations and correlating the number of seeds and the ratio seeds/crossing, obtained by each cultivar, with in vitro pollen germination ability.