Paper Information

Journal:   THE PLANT PRODUCTION (SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE)   SUMMER 2017 , Volume 40 , Number 2 #A0044; Page(s) 63 To 74.
 
Paper: 

STUDYING THE EFFECTS OF DUST ON DATE PALM (PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA L.) POLLINATION AND FRUIT SET

 
Author(s):  TORAHI A., ARZANI K.*
 
* DEPARTMENT OF HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE, TARBIAT MODARES UNIVERSITY (TMU), TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Background and Objectives: In recent years, the increase in so-called phenomenon of widespread dust has adversely affected most of agricultural products such as date palm. This study was conducted in two growing seasons of 2014 and 2015 in order to evaluate the effect of combined treatments including dust, rain and pollination on fruit set, parthenocarpic fruit and fruit abscission of 8-year old 'Estamaran' ('Sayer') date palm cultivar in the Date Palm Research Institute Collection Orchard located in Ahwaz. In addition, dust sediment manner on the flower and stigmatic surface in the simulated environment at the laboratory were studied.
Material and Methods: In each combined treatments that applied in the orchard, all bunches of experimental trees were treated as replications. At the laboratory, simulated operation was done by placing the flowers under binocular camera. A soft brush was used for dusting and pollination on the stigma and a manual hand spray for misting. A month after treatment, traits such as fruit set, parthenocarpic fruit and abscission percentage and dust sedimentation manner on the flower and stigma were studied and monitored. The data were statistically analyzed using MINITAB17 software.
Results: Results showed that treatments had significant effects on the studied traits. The maximum fruit set was obtained from pollination (66.11%) and the minimum fruit set was recorded in non-pollinated treatment (0.5%). For other applied treatments, in spite of pollination, existence of one or two other factors and their operation order had different effects on fruit set. Combined treatments that included dust caused significant reduction in fruit set and led to the increase in fruit abscission. The maximum parthenocarpic fruit was observed in non-pollinated treatment (23.38%) with the significant difference in comparison to other treatments and the minimum parthenocarpic fruit was produced by combined dust, rain and pollination treatment (0.48%). In addition, maximum abscission was observed in the combined dust, rain and pollination treatment (83.82%) and the minimum abscission was observed in pollination treatment (32.88%). The data obtained for simulated operation at the laboratory were in agreement with field experiment results. The formation of dust insulator layer on the stigmatic surface inhibited most of the pollen grains for direct contact to the stigmatic surface. The obtained results from this research showed the negative impact of the dust on fruit set. Based on these data, supplemental research on repeating pollination after the dust storm during date palm pollination is recommended.
Discussions: Date palm is a dioecious plant and pollen access to flower stigma is necessary for its proper fruit set. Based on the obtained results, dust can form a blockage layer on the stigma and could prevent the germination of pollen grains on the stigma and consequently penetration of pollen tube into the style and further failure of the proper fertilization and fruit set. Therefore, after dust and storms, repeated pollination should be done for suitable pollen germination, pollen tube growth in the style and further proper date palm fruit set.

 
Keyword(s): DUST, FRUIT FORMATION, PARTHENOCARPY, ABSCISSION
 
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