Before approaching anther culture as a tool to trigger an androgenic response in a new species, it is advisable to characterize and correlate flower and male gametophyte development to enable reproducible identification of the appropriate starting material. Buds and flowers of Opuntia ficus-indica cv. Gialla were classified in eight stages according to their total length at the earlier stages and the length of the corolla in flowers with emerging sepals. Due to the low condensation of chromatin in the microspore nucleus as well as in the vegetative nucleus of the bi- and tricellular pollen along with the high autofluorescence of the intricate exine, DAPI staining turned out not to be feasible in this species. Therefore an approach based on light-microscopy observation of semithin sections was used. These sections were stained with toluidine blue for general structure recognition and I2KI to study starch deposition. Correlations were made between the sequential floral and male gametophyte development. Using this approach we determined the timing of pollen formation and observed that pollen development is impaired in plants producing seedless fruits. Furthermore, anther culture was carried out with anthers collected from flower buds at stages 2 and 3. Most of the anthers produced callus, however no regeneration was obtained.
Correlation of sequential floral and male gametophyte development and preliminary results on anther culture in Opuntia ficus-indica / Gonzalez-Melendi, P.; Germana, M. A.; Guarda, N. L.; Chiancone, B.; Risueno, M. C.. - In: ACTA PHYSIOLOGIAE PLANTARUM. - ISSN 0137-5881. - 27:4(2005), pp. 687-694. [10.1007/s11738-005-0072-9]
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