Crop and Pasture Science Crop and Pasture Science Society
Plant sciences, sustainable farming systems and food quality
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Embryological background of low seed set in distylous common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) with biased morph ratios, and biostimulant-induced improvement of it

Aneta Słomka A D , Klaudia Michno A , Franciszek Dubert B , Michał Dziurka B , Przemysław Kopeć B and Agnieszka Płażek C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Plant Cytology and Embryology, Jagiellonian University, Gronostajowa 9, 30–387 Cracow, Poland.

B The Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Science, Niezapominajek 21, 30–239 Cracow, Poland.

C Department of Plant Physiology, University of Agriculture, Podłużna 3, 30–239 Cracow, Poland.

D Corresponding author. Email: a.slomka@iphils.uj.edu.pl

Crop and Pasture Science 68(7) 680-690 https://doi.org/10.1071/CP17009
Submitted: 6 January 2017  Accepted: 12 July 2017   Published: 5 September 2017

Abstract

The biased ratio (1 : 2.7–1 : 19) of long-styled Pin and short-styled Thrum flowers (anisoplethy) in common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) with low seed set (9.8–33.1%) is documented for the first time in two cultivars (Kora, Panda) and two strains (PA13, PA14). To establish the reasons for low grain yield we studied pollen, embryo sacs, embryos, counted stigmas with compatible pollen and with compatible pollen tubes, and recorded seed set under semi-controlled conditions with open access of pollinators. We also sought to improve seed yield via exogenous application of eight biostimulants at the beginning of flowering.

Pin pollen supply to Thrum stigmas was low, due to the imbalance of flower morphs. This did not affect seed set or male success in either flower morph. The pollen of Pin or Thrum was highly viable (97.9–99.9%) in all studied cultivars and strains, germinating well on compatible stigmas. The female success of both flower types was much lower; 49–59% of the ovules exhibited signs of degeneration (whole flower buds, ovules only) or abortion (mature embryo sacs, proembryos, embryos); the highest share of mature embryo sac abortions resulted from degeneration of synergids or the whole egg apparatus. Three biostimulants (Gibberellic acid, putrescine, Asahi SL) in PA13 and six (1-Naphthaleneacetic acid, Gibberellic acid, TYTANIT, putrescine, 6-Benzylaminopurine, Asahi SL) in PA14 decreased embryo abortions (4–12 fold) and increased seed set (0.4–2.4 times), but seed set was still low and never exceeded 33% (the highest value of the untreated with biostimulants plants). Biostimulant treatments were most effective on PA14 strain increasing seed set in 7 out of 8 treatments. These were Gibberellic acid, putrescine and Asahi SL improving seed set of two among four analysed genotypes.

Additional keywords: anisoplethy, defective female gametophyte, embryo abortion, Pin and Thrum flowers, plant growth biostimulants.


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