Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Elmer Gray, Alan Yungbluth, L.D. Brown

Degree Program

Department of Agriculture

Degree Type

Master of Science


Reactions of in vitro pollen-pistil combinations were studied and related to compatibility differences in Buffalo alfalfa Medicago sativa L.) at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green. Pollen-pistil combinations were made at random among a number of alfalfa plants in 1968 (Experiment I). Pollen tube elongation varied significantly when -4 pollen from the same plant was placed on agar media containing pistils from different plants. Three of four plants for which intra-plant combinations (pollen and pistils from same plants) were made 1,ad tube lengths significantly shorter than those measured for inter-plant combinations (pollen and pistils from different plants).

Similar in vitro pollen-pistil combinations were made in 1969 (Experiment II) with another group of Buffalo alfalfa plants. When grouped according to pollen source, significant differences were found among tube lengths for different combinations within most groups. Intra-plant combinations for four plants gave varying tube lengths and were inconsistent in their rankings relative to inter-plan combinations within groups. Within a pollen source. mean pollen tube lengths were consistently longer on the control medium, with no pistils present, than on the medium containing pistils.

Twenty-two crosses and selfs were made which were analogous to the pollen-pistil combinations in Experiment II. The self- or cross-compatibility was determined by three indexes: percentage of flowers producing pods, seeds per flower, and seeds per pod. Correlation coefficients were not significant for percentage viable pollen or mean pollen tube length versus each of the three indexes. However, the correlation coefficients were positive and relatively consistent for the two pollen characteristics versus the three compatibility indexes.


Agriculture | Agronomy and Crop Sciences | Life Sciences | Plant Sciences