We examined the effect of pollen competition on the reproductive performance of Cucurbita F1 and backcross progeny while attempting to control for nongenetic maternal effects and nonrandom seed abortion as possible explanations for the data. We compared the vigor of F1 and backcross progeny produced from large and small pollen loads under field conditions. The results from both field studies indicated that the progeny produced from large pollen loads outperformed the progeny produced from small pollen loads for several measures of vigor. The F1 progeny produced from large pollen loads germinated faster, and produced 12% more staminate flowers and 9% more pistillate flowers than the progeny from the small pollen loads. Similarly, the backcross progeny produced from large pollen loads germinated faster, and produced 8% more pistillate flowers and 20% more fruits than the progeny from the small pollen loads. This study demonstrates a positive correlation between the size of the pollen load and the vigor of the resulting progeny under field conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science