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Floral Biology, Pollen Germination, Pollen Viability and Pollination Ecology of Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius Linn.)

Author(s): Aloka Kumari

The present paper deals with pollen biology of safflower. Safflower is basically self-pollinated but bees or other insects are generally necessary for optimumfertilization andmaximumyield. The highest germination percentage 73.628.2% was recorded 48 hours after anthesis. After 24 hours of the anthesis viability is reduced to about 73.76% in TTC. If anther dehiscence occurs before style elongates, the stigma pushes through mass of pollen, becomes coated with pollen and gets self-fertilized. If anther dehiscence occurs after style elongates, stigma passes through the anther tube without becoming pollen coated, then cross pollination is needed.Absence of pollinators results in self-pollination. Anthesis of disc florets takes place between 0530 - 0800 h. The number of pollen grains produced per anther/per flower is 23674/ 5906372 respectively. Stigma remains receptive up to 32- 56 hours after anthesis. PAGE results bands in pollen and stigma shows indicating 50%chances for crossability/compatibility. There is about 85.99% seed setting in the open pollinated heads followed by 38.15%inmuslin cloth and 35.54% in butter paper bagged flowers.

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