Viability of Pollen of Two Fruit Crop Cacti of the Genus Hylocereus Is Affected by Temperature and Duration of Storage

Christiane Metz, Avinoam Nerd, Yosef Mizrahi

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Hylocereus undatus (Haw.) and H. polyrhizus (Weber) are new fruit crops of the Cactaceae. In Israel, flowers of the two species, which are self-incompatible, are hand cross-pollinated. In order to ensure a current supply of compatible pollen and guarantee good yields, we have developed a procedure for long-term storage of pollen. Pollen for storage was collected in the evening or in the morning. Its moisture content ranged between 45% to 50% in the evening and between 18% to 22% in the morning. Pollen was first dehydrated in a vacuum desiccator until the moisture content was reduced to 5% to 10% and then stored at various temperatures (+4, -18, -70, -196 °C) for 3 or 9 months, after which it was used for cross-pollination. Percent fruit set and fruit fresh weight (FW) were affected by the temperature but not the duration of pollen storage; storage at +4 °C reduced fruit set, fruit FW, and seed number more than did storage at subfreezing temperatures. The FW of fruits produced by frozen pollen was similar to that produced by fresh pollen in commercial orchards. The rate of seed germination was high (≃90%) regardless of the temperature during pollen storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-24
Number of pages3
JournalHortscience: A Publication of the American Society for Hortcultural Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000


  • Dehydration
  • Hylocereus polyrhizus
  • Hylocereus undatus
  • Pollen quality


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