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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Qureshi, Mehveen [1], Godbolt, Courtney [1], Faivre, Amy [1].

Do Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) pollen tubes prefer the cold?

Christmas cacti (Schlumbergera x buckleyi) are popular houseplants worldwide, in part because of their large and vividly colored flowers and in part because of their easily induced flowering. Hybridization of S. truncata, and S. russelliana, both native to southeastern Brazil, has led to the production of more than one-hundred varieties of Christmas cacti which are collectively known as (S. x buckleyi). In one variety of S. x buckleyi (Magenta), we studied the effects of temperature on pollen tube growth in out-crossed flowers. Flower samples were collected 16 or 24 hours after hand-pollinations, preserved, and then stained with aniline blue solution. Using fluorescence microscopy, we observed that the pollen tubes in the warmer temperatures (20°C) germinated down the style significantly farther (p<0.0001) than the ones in the cooler temperatures (9.6°C). In this same variety of Christmas cactus, we tested pollen viability one, two, or three days following anthesis. Samples of pollen grains were collected from different aged flowers and grown in vitro for 24 hours in 25 percent sucrose solution. Then methylene blue was used to stain the pollen grains, and any decline in their quality throughout the three-day period was analyzed. Data from 55 flowers indicate on the first day a mean of 24 percent of the pollen grains germinated, but on the second and third days it dropped to a mean of 17 percent germination, however these trends were not significant (p<0.26). Other varieties of Christmas cacti have shown higher levels of pollen viability. These results will be added to the growing data set on Schlumbergera, a genus which often exhibits different trends in plant reproduction than other members of Cactaceae.

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1 - CEDAR CREST COLLEGE, Department of Biological Sciences, 100 COLLEGE DR, ALLENTOWN, PA, 18104-6196, USA

Christmas cactus
pollen tube
pollen viability

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:45 PM
Number: PEC024
Abstract ID:681
Candidate for Awards:None

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