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Heat Injury During Floral Development in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, Fabaceae)

Faisal E. Ahmed, Anthony E. Hall and Darleen A. DeMason
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 79, No. 7 (Jul., 1992), pp. 784-791
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2444945
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Heat Injury During Floral Development in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata, Fabaceae)
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Abstract

High night temperatures during floral development induce male sterility in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp.). The objectives of this study were to determine: the possible causes of the male sterility; the stage of floral development when damage due to heat stress occurs; and whether specific tissues are damaged during the period of sensitivity to heat. Plants were grown under controlled temperatures in both greenhouses and growth chambers in separate experiments. Floral development was normal under a night temperature of 20 C, whereas flowers developed under high night temperature (30 C) set no pods due to low pollen viability and anther indehiscence. Anthers developed under 33/30 C day/night temperatures did not exhibit endothecial formation, whereas anthers developed under 33/20 C day/night temperatures exhibited normal development of the endothecial layer. Reciprocal transfers of plants between chambers with high or optimum night temperature demonstrated that the stage of floral development most sensitive to heat stress occurs 9 to 7 d before anthesis. Anthers developed under either optimal or high night temperatures were compared cytologically. Development was similar through meiosis, but after tetrad release, which occurred 8 d before anthesis, the tapetal layer degenerated prematurely under high night temperature. Premature degeneration of the tapetal layer and lack of endothecial development may be responsible for the low pollen viability, low anther dehiscence, and low pod set under high night temperatures.

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