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Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 7:54 (article 24) 1984

Use of n-Pentane for Mixing Melon Pollen

Risser, Georgette and J.C. Rode

I.N.R.A., Centre de Recherches Agronomiques d'Avignon, 84140 Montfavet, France

Hand pollination of a melon flower with a mixture of pollen from several plants is difficult because melon pollen is sticky and aggregates. Our objective was to find a non-toxic solvent that could be used to wash and mix pollen from anthers of several plants for subsequent use in pollination.

In 1981, several solvents were tried without success, but in 1983 good results were obtained with n-pentane which had been reported to be useful for collecting Berberis pollen (1).

Pollen is washed from anthers and mixed with pollen from other plants by washing anthers in a watchglass filled with n-pentane. The pollen grains settle to the bottom of the glass, and the n- pentane evaporates very quickly.

We have used pollen collected in n-pentane up to 2.5 hr after collecting and had good fruit set and seed set. In 1984, we will determine how long muskmelon pollen is suitable for pollination after collecting in n-pentane.

Literature Cited

  1. Cadic, A. 1982. Pollinasation et incompatibilité interspécifique dans le genere Berberis. Le Sélectionneur Francais 30:37-43.
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