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The evaluation of pollen quality, and a further appraisal of the fluorochromatic (FCR) test procedure
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Methods currently available for evaluating pollen quality in vitro are described and include (1) tests of germinability; (2) tests of the stainability of the vegetative cell contents; (3) tests for enzyme activity; and (4) the fluorochromatic procedure (FCR), which tests principally the integrity of the plasmalemma of the vegetative cell. Using germinability in vitro as a standard, a comparison was made between histochemical methods of classes (2), (3) and (4) in applicaton to various pollens (including lucerne and tomato), both immature and mature, treated in ways known to affect viability and membrane state. Predictably, the lowest correlation was obtained with tests of stainability. The highest was given by the FCR, which generally provided a good guide to potential germinability. However, the FCR procedure is subject to the following limitations (1) high correlation between FCR and germinability only occurs when mature, ripe pollen is used (with immature pollen, the FCR will predict excessively high potential germinability); (2) the FCR may also predict a higher potential level of pollen fuction than in vitro germinability when the germination medium is suboptimal; and (3) the FCR is not a test of pollen viability and like germinability in vitro, it can yield a negative score with pollen which is nevertheless capable of functioning. The paper also includes a brief discussion of the rationale of pollen testing.
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 Record created 2017-10-01, last modified 2019-03-04

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