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Reproductive Characterization and Preliminary Studies on Controlled Breeding of Annatto (Bixa orellana L.)
, Siril E.A.
, Nair G.M.
Plant Systematics and Evolution
, 2012. V. 298. No. 1. P. 239–250
Журнал с антэкологическими публикациями.
Springer Science+Business Media
Annatto (Bixa orellana L.) is an important dye-yielding medium-sized tree occurring in the tropics. Investigations aimed at elucidating the reproductive characters as well as establishing a set of breeding parameters for genetic improvement of B. orellana was carried out. Records on pollen/ovule ratios of annatto showed that this species is xenogamous. The acetolyzed pollen of B. orellana was tricolporate. The fluorochromatic test showed 95% pollen viability. The viability of the pollen grains decreased sharply after 4 h from anther dehiscence. The optimum time range for artificial pollination was standardized between 12:00 and 13:00 h. A high in vitro germination rate (92%) of freshly collected pollen was recorded in modified Brewbaker’s medium with 15% sucrose. Resource allocation studies showed that the construction of each flower cost 1.162 g. The floral vegetative cost was 75%. Of the total allocation, 21% was spent by the stamens. Based on identified reproductive characters, controlled pollination experiments were conducted by selecting four morphologically distinct parent plants: (1) green-fruited with reddish spines, (2) red-fruited, (3) brown large-fruited, and (4) with brown distorted fruits. In artificial cross-pollination experiments, wide variation ranges in fruit set (0–95%) and fruit maturation (0–85%) were observed in different crosses. The number of seeds per capsule also showed variation (0–40 per capsule). Germination studies of seeds raised from different crosses showed a maximum 93% germination. The present study proved that improvement in B. orellana could be achieved by adopting breeding techniques using specifically selected parents.