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Title: Pistil starch reserves at anthesis correlate with final flower fate in avocado (Persea americana)
Authors: Alcaraz, María Librada
Hormaza Urroz, José Ignacio
Rodrigo García, Francisco Javier
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Plos One, 8 (10)
Abstract: A common observation in different plant species is a massive abscission of flowers and fruitlets even after adequate pollination, but little is known as to the reason for this drop. Previous research has shown the importance of nutritive reserves accumulated in the flower on fertilization success and initial fruit development but direct evidence has been elusive. Avocado (Persea americana) is an extreme case of a species with a very low fruit to flower ratio. In this work, the implications of starch content in the avocado flower on the subsequent fruit set are explored. Firstly, starch content in individual ovaries was analysed from two populations of flowers with a different fruit set capacity showing that the flowers from the population that resulted in a higher percentage of fruit set contained significantly more starch. Secondly, in a different set of flowers, the style of each flower was excised one day after pollination, once the pollen tubes had reached the base of the style, and individually fixed for starch content analysis under the microscope once the fate of its corresponding ovary (that remained in the tree) was known. A high variability in starch content in the style was found among flowers, with some flowers having starch content up to 1,000 times higher than others, and the flowers that successfully developed into fruits presented significantly higher starch content in the style at anthesis than those that abscised. The relationship between starch content in the ovary and the capacity of set of the flower together with the correlation found between the starch content in the style and the fate of the ovary support the hypothesis that the carbohydrate reserves accumulated in the flower at anthesis are related to subsequent abscission or retention of the developing fruit.
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:[DOCIART] Artículos científicos, técnicos y divulgativos

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