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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 736: III International Date Palm Conference

FERTILIZATION FAILURE AND ABNORMAL FRUIT SET IN TISSUE CULTURE-DERIVED DATE PALM (PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA L.)

Authors:   N. Bouhouche, H.S. Al-Mazroui, A. Zaid
Keywords:   organogenesis, somatic embryogenesis, somaclonal variation
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.736.20
Abstract:
Tissue culture technologies are commonly used worldwide for the mass propagation of date palms. Productivity and yield of date palm trees are of great importance to date palm growers. However, the occurrence of infertility in plants propagated from tissue culture presents major economic problems. The present study assessed the fertilization failure phenotype in two elite date cultivars, ‘Khlass’ and ‘Barhee’, with respect to the different techniques used for their propagation. Propagation by organogenesis was found to be successful, resulting in highly productive trees with a fertilization percentage of 94-98% in both cultivars, whereas somatic embryogenesis resulted in abnormal fruit set. Both direct and indirect embryogenesis generated a high fruit set failure in ‘Khlass’. In ‘Barhee’, only plants propagated by indirect embryogenesis were more susceptible to this abnormality. Most abnormal parthenocarpic fruits showed 2-5 carpels.

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