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Diurnal pollen tube growth rate is slowed by high temperature in field-grown Gossypium hirsutum pistils

, : Diurnal pollen tube growth rate is slowed by high temperature in field-grown Gossypium hirsutum pistils. Journal of Plant Physiology 168(5): 441-448

For Gossypium hirsutum pollination, germination, and pollen tube growth must occur in a highly concerted fashion on the day of flowering for fertilization to occur. Because reproductive success could be influenced by the photosynthetic activity of major source leaves, we hypothesized that increased temperatures under field conditions would limit fertilization by inhibiting diurnal pollen tube growth through the style and decreasing subtending leaf photosynthesis. To address this hypothesis, G. hirsutum seeds were sown on different dates to obtain flowers exposed to contrasting ambient temperatures while at the same developmental stage (node 8 above the cotyledons). Collection and measurement were conducted at 06:00, 09:00, 12:00, 15:00, and 18:00h on August 4 (34.6°C maximum air temperature) and 14, 2009 (29.9°C maximum air temperature). Microclimate measurements included photosynthetically active radiation, relative humidity, and air temperature. Pistil measurements included pistil surface temperature, pollen germination, pollen tube growth through the style, fertilization efficiency, fertilized ovule number, and total number of ovules per ovary. Subtending leaf measurements included leaf temperature, photosynthesis, and stomatal conductance. Under high temperatures the first measurable pollen tube growth through the style was observed earlier in the day (12:00h) than under cooler conditions (15:00h). Also, high temperature resulted in slower pollen tube growth through the style (2.05mmh(-1)) relative to cooler conditions (3.35mmh(-1)), but there were no differences in fertilization efficiency, number of fertilized ovules, or ovule number. There was no effect of sampling date on diurnal photosynthetic patterns, where the maximum photosynthetic rate was observed at 12:00h on both dates. It is concluded that, of the measured physiological and reproductive processes, pollen tube growth rate showed the greatest sensitivity to high temperature under field conditions.


PMID: 20832140

DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2010.08.003

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