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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 2:20-21 (article 12) 1979

Pollen Germination in Interspecific Crosses Between Muskmelon and Some Wild Cucumis Species

R. D. de Vaulx

Station d'Amélioration des Plantes Maraîchères, I.N.R.A., Domaine Saint Maurice, 84140 Montfavet-Avignon (France)

Cross pollinations were made among different lines of muskmelon (monoecious, andromonoecious, diploid, tetraploid) and five wild species of Cucumis: C. metuliferus (from Fassuliotis and Vavilov Institute), C. ficifolius (PI 196844, PI 203915), C. prophetarum (PI 193967), C. myriocarpus (1096), and C. zeyheri (PI 273192). For the description of these species, see Deakin and co-workers (1). Chromosome number of each wild species was counted.

Pollen germination and pollen tube growth were observed by means of the fluorescence technique described by Martin (3).

In the crosses between muskmelon (as female parent) and C. metuliferus or C. prophetarum, the stigmas were wounded prior to pollination to promote the pollen tube growth. The stigma was cut in the middle or was rubbed or scraped with a lanceolate needle.

Strong sterility barriers were generally present in these crosses. Frequently, there was neither pollen germination nor pollen penetration into the stigma. After germination, pollen tube growth stopped at different levels inside the style (Table 1). The most promising results were observed in the cross between diploid muskmelon as female parent, with the stigma rubbed, and C. prophetarum as male. Pollen tubes reached the muskmelon ovules and penetrated into the micropylar canal of some ovules. In this cross, the incongruity barrier seems to be localized in the first layers of cells of the muskmelon stigma. By rubbing off the stigma, the pollen tubes can overcome the barrier and reach the ovules.

The purposes of this cross were not only to introduce some disease resistances of C. prophetarum in the muskmelon but also to develop a bridge between muskmelon and other wild species.

Table 1. The effects of various physical treatments on the germination and growth of pollen in interspecific crosses.

Cross

Pollen germination

Pollen tubes penetration into the stigma

Pollen tubes can reach the first fourth part of the style

Pollen tubes can reach half part of the style

Pollen tubes can reach the basal end of the style

Pollen tubes can reach the ovules

Pollen tubes into the micropyle

Pollen tubes reach the embryo sac

I-C. melo as female parent

C. melo x C. metuliferus (2x=24)

 

MEL(2x) x MET (Fassuliotis)

xx

xx

xx

x

x

E

0

MEL(2x) x MET (Vavilov)

xx

xx

xx

x

0

MEL(2x) + rubbed stigma* x MET (Vavilov)

xx

x

x

x

0

MEL(4x) x MET (Fassuliotis)

xx

xx

xx

0

MEL(4x) x MET (Vavilov)

xx

x

x

0

 

C. melo x C. prophetarum (PI 193967) (4x=48)

 

MEL(2x) x PRO

xx

xx

xx

E

E

0

MEL(2x) rubbed stigma* x PRO

xx

xx

xx

xx

x

x

x

x

MEL(2x) cut stigma* x PRO

0

MEL(4x) x PRO

x

x

x

0

MEL(4x) rubbed stigma* x PRO

0-x

0

MEL(4x) cut stigma* x PRO

x

x

x

0

 

C. melo(2x) x C. ficifolius (PI 203915) (2x=24)

xx

xx

xx

x

 

C. melo(2x) x C. ficifolius (PI 196844) (4x=48)

x

0

0

 

C. melo(2x) x C. Zeyheri (PI 273.192) (2x=24)

xx

0

 

C. melo(2x) x C. myriocarpus (1096) (2x=24)

xx

xx

xx

0

 

II-C. melo as a male parent

C. metuliferus x C. melo

 

MET (Fassuliotis) x MEL(2x)

xx

xx

xx

xx

xx

0

MET (Vavilov) x MEL(2x)

xx

xx

xx

xx

0

MET (Fasssuliotis) x MEL(4x)

xx

xx

xx

xx

x

x

0

MET (Vavilov) x MEL(4x)

xxx

xx

xx

xx

x

0

 

C. prophetarum x C. melo

PRO x MEL(2x)

xx

xx

xx

xx

xx

xx

PRO x MEL(4x)

xxx

xxx

xx

xx

xx

xx

0 =none; E =very few; x =a few; xx =numerous; xxx =very numerous
* see text

Literature Cited

  1. Deakin, J. R., G. W. Bohn, T. W. Whitaker. 1971. Interspecific hybridization in Cucumis. Economic Botany 25:2, 195-211.
  2. Fassuliotis, G. 1977. Self fertilization of Cucumis metuliferus Naud. and its cross compatibility with C. melo L. J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 102:3, 336-339.
  3. Martin, F. W. 1958. Staining and observing pollen tubes in the style by means of fluorescence. Stain Technol. 34:125-128.
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Page citation: Wehner, T.C., Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative;
Created by T.C. Wehner and T. Ng, 1 June 2005; design by C.T. Glenn;
send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 23 October, 2009