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Growth of Pollen Tubes of Oenothera organensis through Otherwise Incompatible Styles

Adolph Hecht
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 47, No. 1 (Jan., 1960), pp. 32-36
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2439490
Page Count: 5
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Growth of Pollen Tubes of Oenothera organensis through Otherwise Incompatible Styles
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Abstract

It has previously been reported that pollen tubes of Oenothera organensis fail to grow from compatible stylar tissue into a graft of stylar tissue containing the same "S" alleles as are present in the pollen tubes. Upon this basis it has been assumed that the incompatibility reaction in this species is equally effective at all levels of the stigma and style. Results contrary to these were obtained by employing a new culturing and grafting technique: styles with attached stigmas were excised from their ovaries and cultured in large Petri dishes. The styles were cut usually 15 mm. below the stigmas, then grafted to similarly cut styles from a plant of another incompatibility class and held together by means of a "splint" made of lactose-gelatin and a square of moistened lens paper. This "splint" was generally effective in keeping the cut ends in contact and in allowing pollen tubes to grow through the scion portion into the stock. In the 95 grafts involving a scion having no "S" alleles in common with those of the pollen and a stock containing the "S" allele of the pollen, tubes grew an average of 22.1 mm. into the stock during a 15-hr. period at 27⚬C., with some growing as far as 55 mm. under these conditions. These results suggest the possibility of 3 alternative mechanisms: (1) the incompatibility reaction is stronger in the stigma than in the style; (2) in the growth of pollen tubes through compatible tissue some stimulus is received or some substance is formed. which allows continued growth into the otherwise incompatible tissue of the stock; or (3) some of the stylar, inhibitory substance is lost by diffusion into the gelatin mixture at the graft juncture.

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