The pollen grain is the carrier of the male gamete in plants and differs in various morphologies depending on the species. The main function of pollen is to transfer the male genetic material to the embryo sac through a process called "double fertilisation" (Razzaq et al 2019).
Pollen viability is a measure of male fertility and is therefore critical to the reproductive process. Pollen viability can be affected by numerous environmental and nutritional factors of the plant, especially abiotic and biotic stresses. Environmental factors during pollen formation are known to be sufficient to cause large differences in pollen yield and thus crop production (Razzaq et al 2019, Rodriguez-Rojas et al 2015).
There are different methods for assessing pollen viability and fertility. Among the quickest and most accurate are staining with vital dyes and germination on artificial media. Staining tests have advantages as indicators of pollen viability, as they are quicker and easier.
In vitro pollen germination depends on genotype, environmental conditions, pollen maturity, and composition and pH of the medium, so it is necessary to determine the optimal conditions for pollen germination according to the species.
Optimal nutrition and biostimulation of the crop at key moments, such as flowering, is crucial to obtain flowers with viable and fertile pollen, thus increasing the percentage of fruit set.
In trials carried out under controlled conditions on tomato variety "marmande", where BS-95 was applied from the beginning of flowering, we obtained a significant increase in pollen viability (ANOVA p<0.05) and an increase in fertility of 18.8%, increasing the number of fruit set by 50.6-101.2%.
Figure 1. Number of fruit set per plant
BS-95® is a formulation indicated for flowering in horticultural crops, stone and pome fruit trees, olive groves, vines and strawberries to ensure fruit set, fruit fixation and fruit establishment.
Razzaq, M. K., Rauf, S., Khurshid, M., Iqbal, S., Bhat, J. A., Farzand, A., … & Gai, J. (2019). Pollen Viability an Index of Abiotic Stresses Tolerance and Methods for the Improved Pollen Viability. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research, 32(4).
Rodríguez-Rojas, T. J., Andrade-Rodríguez, M., Canul-Ku, J., Castillo-Gutiérrez, A., Martínez-Fernández, E., & Guillén-Sánchez, D. (2015). Viabilidad de polen, receptividad del estigma y tipo de polinización en cinco especies Echeveria en condiciones de invernadero. Revista mexicana de ciencias agrícolas, 6(1), 111-123.