Pollen tube growth and self-incompatibility in three Ziziphus species (Rhamnaceae) Academic Article uri icon


  • Self-incompatibility and synchronous protandrous dichogamy have previously been reported in Ziziphus species. In this work, we conducted a comparative analysis of fluorescence microscopy observations of pollen tube growth following controlled cross pollinations of emasculated flowers and self-pollinations of non-emasculated flowers in three Ziziphus species, Z. jujuba, Z. mauritiana and Z. spina-christi, with the aim to determine the type of the self-incompatibility system of each species. In addition, to test whether autonomous self-pollination, parthenocarpy or agamospermy occurs, flowers were emasculated (or not) and covered. Fruit set and seed viability were monitored. The presence of binucleate pollen grains and the cessation of pollen tube growth in the style suggest that the self-incompatibility system operating in the studied Ziziphus species is gametophytically controlled. Controlled self-pollination in Z. mauritiana resulted in fruits that dropped off before maturation, whereas in Z. spina-christi the flowers dropped off one or two days after pollination. Following controlled self-pollination, small fruits lacking viable seeds were obtained in Z. jujuba, probably due to the stimulus provided by pollination (stimulative parthenocarpy). In the cultivar Tamar of Z. jujuba, the relatively high percentage of seedless fruits obtained in emasculated bagged flowers without hand pollination suggests that this cultivar can set seedless fruits without any pollination stimulus.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013