Ovule senescence and unusual pollen tube growth in the ovary of sweet cherry as affected by pistilar genotype and temperature

Keywords: Prunus avium, pistils, emasculation, pollination, fertilization percentage, fruit set


The study of ovule senescence in the ovaries of four sweet cherry cultivars (‘Karina᾿, ‘Kordia᾿, ‘Regina᾿ and ‘Summit᾿) in the environmental conditions of West Serbia was carried out. Monitoring of ovaries was performed using the fluorescence microscopy method, on emasculated and pollinated flowers (cross-pollination variant), non-emasculated open-pollinated flowers (open pollination variant), and emasculated unpollinated flowers (unpollinated variant). In cross- and open pollination variants, the rate of unusual pollen tube growth in the ovary, fertilization percentage and fruit set were determined. The tendency in the appearance of fluorescence, as an indicator of ovule senescence, showed strong genotypic dependence ‒ it was the most and the least pronounced in the ovaries of ‘Kordia’ and ‘Regina’, respectively, in all the flower categories. Investigation of unusual pollen tube growth, fertilization percentage and fruit set, considered from the aspect of ovule senescence and cultivars’ behaviour as female (pollinated), pointed to their specific relations and complex dependence on the air temperature before and during the flowering. Flower emasculation and pollination also influenced ovule senescence, and this impact was unequal by genotypes, i.e. those having better ovule vitality in general, had also better ovule vitality in the conditions of emasculation, and pollination absence. The results imply different adaptation of cultivars to higher temperatures before and during the flowering, pointing to the further investigation related to the good adaptability of genotypes to air temperatures in reproductive sense, which is a basic indicator of good adaptability in general.


Download data is not yet available.


Alburquerque N, Burgos L, Egea J, 2002. Variability in the developmental stage of apricot ovules at anthesis and its relationship with fruit set. Ann Applied Biol 141: 147-152. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7348.2002.tb00207.x

Anvari SF, Stösser R, 1978. Eine neue fluoreszenzmikroskopische Methode zur Beurteilung der Befruchtungsfähigkeit der Samenanlagen bei Prunus. Z Pflanzenzuchtung 81: 333-336.

Arbeloa A, Herrero M, 1985. Valoración de la translocación al óvulo de la esterilidad femenina en melocotonero. An Aula Dei 17: 214-220.

Arbeloa A, Herrero M, 1987. The significance of the obturator in the control of pollen tube entry into the ovary in peach (Prunus persica). Ann Bot 60: 681-685. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aob.a087500

Arbeloa A, Herrero M, 1991. Development of the ovular structures in peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch]. New Phytol 118: 527-533. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.1991.tb00992.x

Bargioni G, 1996. Sweet cherry scions: Characteristics of the principal commercial cultivars, breeding objectives and methods. In: Cherries: Crop physiology, production and uses; Webster AD, Looney NE (eds.). pp. 73-112. CAB Int, Wallingford, UK.

Cerović R, 1996. Unusual behaviour of growing pollen tubes in the ovary of sour cherry. Acta Hort 423: 171-176. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1996.423.22

Cerović R, 1997. Fertilization biology of sour cherry. Endowment Andrejevic, Belgrade, Republic of Serbia.

Cerović R, Ružić Đ, 1992a. Senescence of ovules at different temperatures and their effect on the behaviour of pollen tubes in sour cherry. Sci Hortic 51 (3-4): 321-327. https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-4238(92)90130-5

Cerović R, Ružić Đ, 1992b. Pollen tube growth in sour cherry (Prunus cerasus) at different temperatures. J Hortic Sci Biotech 67: 333-340. https://doi.org/10.1080/00221589.1992.11516256

Cerović R, Vujičić R, Mićić N, 1999. Localization of polysaccharides in the ovary of sour cherry. Gartenbauwissenschaft 64 (1): 40-46.

Cerović R, Ružić Đ, Mićić N, 2000. Viability of plum ovules at different temperatures. Ann Appl Biol 137 (1): 53-59. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7348.2000.tb00056.x

Dresselhaus T, Márton ML, 2009. Micropylar pollen tube guidance and burst: adapted from defence mechanisms? Curr Opin Plant Biol 12: 773-780. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbi.2009.09.015

Đorđević M, Cerović R, Nikolić D, Radičević S, 2010. Unusual behaviour of growing pollen tubes in the ovary of plum culture (Prunus domestica L.). Arch Biol Sci 62 (1): 137-142. https://doi.org/10.2298/ABS1001137D

Egea J, Burgos L, 2000. Ovule differences between single-kernelled and double-kernelled fruits in almond (Prunus dulcis). Ann Appl Biol 136: 291-295. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7348.2000.tb00037.x

Erez A, Yablowitz Z, Korcinski R, 1998. Greenhouse peach growing. Acta Hort 465: 593-600. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1998.465.74

Erez A, Yablowitz Z, Korcinski R, Zilberstaine M, Fokkema NJ, 2000. Grenhouse-growing of stone fruits: effect of temperature on competing sinks. Acta Hort 513: 417-425. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1998.513.50

Hedhly A, 2011. Sensitivity of flowering plant gametophytes to temperature fluctuations. Environ Exp Bot 74: 9-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envexpbot.2011.03.016

Hedhly A, Hormaza JI, Herrero M, 2004. Effect of temperature on pollen tube kinetics and dynamics in sweet cherry, Prunus avium (Rosaceae). Am J Bot 91: 558-564. https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.91.4.558

Hedhly A, Hormaza JI, Herrero M, 2005. Influence of genotype-temperature interaction on pollen performance. J Evol Biol 18:1494-1502. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.00939.x

Hedhly A, Hormaza JI, Herrero M, 2007. Warm temperatures at bloom reduce fruit set in sweet cherry. J Appl Bot Food Qual 81: 158-164.

Hedhly A, Hormaza JI, Herrero M, 2008. Global warming and sexual plant reproduction. Trends Plant Sci 14: 30-36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2008.11.001

Hedhly A, Hormaza JI, Herrero M, 2009. Flower emasculation accelerates ovule degeneration and reduces fruit set in sweet cherry. Sci Hortic 119: 455-457. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2008.08.020

Hegashiyama T, Yabe S, Sasake N, Nishimura Y, Miyagishima S, Kuroiwa H, Kuroiwa T, 2001. Pollen tube attraction by sinergid cell. Science 293: 1480-1483. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1062429

Herrero M, 2000. Changes in the ovary related to pollen tube guidance. Ann Bot 85 (1): 79-85. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbo.1999.1014

Herrero M, 2001. Ovary signals for directional pollen tube growth. Sex Plant Reprod 14: 3-7. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004970100082

Herrero M, Arbeloa A, 1989. Influence of the pistil on pollen tube kinetics in peach (Prunus persica). Am J Bot 76: 1441-1447. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1537-2197.1989.tb15124.x

Kho YO, Baër J, 1971. Fluorescence microscopy in botanical research. Zeiss Inform 76:54-57.

Lillecrapp AM, Wallwork MA, Sedgley M, 1999. Female and male sterility cause low fruit set in a clone of the 'Trevatt' variety of apricot (Prunus armeniaca). Sci Hortic 82 (3): 255-263. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4238(99)00061-8

Nava GA, Dalmago GA, Bergamaschi H, Paniz R, Santos RP, Marodin GA, 2009. Effect of high temperatures in the pre-blooming and blooming periods on ovule formation, pollen grains and yield of 'Granada' peach. Sci Hortic 122 (1): 37-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2009.03.021

Pimienta E, Polito VS, 1982. Ovule abortion in 'Nonpareil' almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill) D. A. Webb]. Am J Bot 69: 913-920. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1537-2197.1982.tb13335.x

Postweiler K, Stösser R, Anvari SF, 1985. The effect of different temperatures on the viability of ovules in cherries. Sci Hortic 25 (3): 235-239. https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-4238(85)90120-7

Preil W, 1970. Observing of pollen tube in pistil and ovarian tissue by means of fluorescence microscopy. Zeiss Inform 75: 24-25.

Punwani JA, Drews GN, 2008. Development and function of the synergid cell. Sex Plant Reprod 21: 7-15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00497-007-0059-3

Radičević S, Marić S, Cerović R, Đorđević M, 2013. Assessment of self-(in)compatibility in some sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) genotypes. Genetika 45:939-952. https://doi.org/10.2298/GENSR1303939R

Radičević S, Cerović R, Nikolić D, Đorđević M, 2016. The effect of genotype and temperature on pollen tube growth and fertilization in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.). Euphytica 209: 121-136. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10681-016-1645-y

Radović A, Nikolić D, Cerović R, Milatović D, Đorđević B, Zec G, 2017. Unusual growth of pollen tubes in the ovary of quince (Cydonia oblonga Mill.). Acta Sci Pol Hortorum Cultus 16 (2): 133-138.

Rodrigo J, Herrero M, 1998. Influence of intraovular reserves on ovule fate in apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.). Sex Plant Reprod 11: 86-93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s004970050124

Ruiz D, Campoy JA, Egea J, 2010. Ovule development at anthesis in Japanese plum (Prunus salicina Lindl.) cultivars. Span J Agric Res 8 (1): 151-158. https://doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2010081-1154

Russel SD, 1996. Attraction and transport of male gametes for fertilization. Sex Plant Reprod 9: 337-342. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02441952

Sage TL, Bagha S, Lundsgaard-Nielsen V, Branch HA, Sultmanis S, Sage RF, 2015. The effect of high temperature stress on male and female reproduction in plants. Field Crops Res 182: 30-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2015.06.011

Schuster M, 2012. Incompatible (S-) genotypes of sweet cherry cultivars (Prunus avium L.). Sci Hortic 148: 59-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scienta.2012.09.012

Schuster M, Flachowsky H, Köhler D, 2007. Determination of self-incompatible genotypes in sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) accessions and cultivars of the German Fruit Gene Bank and from private collections. Plant Breeding 126: 533-540. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0523.2007.01401.x

Seavey SR, Bawa KS, 1986. Late-action self-incompatibility in angiosperm. Bot Rev 52: 195-219. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02861001

Stösser R, Anvari SF, 1982. On the senescence of ovules in cherries. Sci Hortic 16: 29-38. https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-4238(82)90021-8

Sun K, Hunt K, Hauser BA, 2004. Ovule abortion in Arabidopsis triggered by stress. Plant Physiol 135: 2358-2367. https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.104.043091

Wenden B, Campoy JA, Lecourt J, López Ortega G, Blanke M, Radičević S, Schüller E, Spornberger A, Christen D, Magein H, et al., 2016. A collection of European sweet cherry phenology data for assessing climate change. Sci Data 3: art 1601108. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.108

Winsor JA, Stephenson AG, 1995. Demographics of pollen tube growth in Cucurbita pepo. Can J Bot 73: 583-589. https://doi.org/10.1139/b95-061

How to Cite
Radičević, S., Cerović, R., & Đorđević, M. (2019). Ovule senescence and unusual pollen tube growth in the ovary of sweet cherry as affected by pistilar genotype and temperature. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 16(4), e0704. https://doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2018164-13094
Plant breeding, genetics and genetic resources