Morphology and viability of pollen grains from passion fruit species (Passiflora spp.)


Acta Bot. Bras.




The characterization and viability of pollen grains are useful tools to guide crosses in breeding programs. The objective of this study was to describe the morphological patterns and viability of pollen grains from five accessions of Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa O. Deg. and five accessions of Passiflora setacea DC. Pollen morphology descriptions were made using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, whereas the viability analysis was performed by in vitro germination and histochemical analysis (Lugol's solution and 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride). Pollen grains assessed for germination were inoculated in culture medium containing Ca(NO3).4H2O (0.03%), Mg(SO4).7H2O (0.02%), KNO3 (0.01%), H3BO3 (0.01%), sucrose (15%) and agar (0.8%). Although P. edulis and P. setacea showed the same shape and type of pollen aperture, the two differed in terms of their morphology and exine ornamentation pattern. In vitro analysis showed that one of the P. edulis f. flavicarpa accessions (designated BGP 330) presented the highest germination rate (53.98%) and longest pollen tube (2.18 mm). The histochemical analysis overestimated pollen viability when compared with the in vitro results. The results of this study contribute to the breeding of Passiflora species by increasing the understanding of their morphology and pollen grain viability.

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