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Unilateral cross-incompatibility in Eucalyptus: the case of hybridisation between E. globulus and E. nitens

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-23, 11:08 authored by PL Gore, Bradley PottsBradley Potts, Peter VolkerPeter Volker, J Megalos
The growth of E. globulus and E. nitens pollen tubes in styles of E. globulus was examined in order to elucidate the site of the unilateral barrier to hybridisation. Pollen tubes of E. nitens failed to grow the full length of the larger E. globulus style. E. globulus pollen tubes grew an average of 1.4 mm per day for the first 4 days, compared with 0.8 mm per day for pollen tubes of E. nitens. From days 4 to 14, the growth of E. nitens pollen tubes slowed to an average of 0.2 mm per day and virtually no growth occurred after day 14. In contrast, E. globulus pollen tubes grew through the style and into the ovary between days 5 and 14. By day 28, at about the time of style abscission, E. nitens tubes had grown only 6 mm, well short of the full length of the E. globulus style (9-10 mm). A similar difference in growth was obtained in vitro where E. nitens pollen tubes were significantly shorter than those of E. globulus. A comparison also including E. ovata, E. urnigera and E. gunnii indicated a significant correlation between style length and in vitro pollen tube length. It is argued that the unilateral cross-incompatibility between E. globulus and E. nitens is due to a structural barrier arising from an inherent limit to pollen tube growth which is associated with pistil size.


Publication title

Australian Journal of Botany





Article number









Biological Sciences, College Office - CoSE


CSIRO Publishing

Publication status

  • Published

Rights statement

BM Potts.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

260204 Native forests

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