Study of compatibility and determination of the suitable pollinizer for Argane tree (Argania spinosa L.)
During the breeding program studies, the pollen donor parents (pollinizers) were observed to be characterized by a strong flowering rate and very low fruit set, even after hand pollination. Then the notion of pollinizers in the argane species was born, first mentioned, checked, documented and confirmed like other conventional tree species. Since the argane tree is completely self-incompatible, the presence of compatible pollinizers is necessary for the fruit set. Indeed, pollinizers need to be
... elected accurately based on the synchronization of bloom periods and compatibility to receiver trees (female). The pollinizer is essential in any breeding program and for new orchard plantations. The current study was conducted on 13 argane genotypes including two pollinizers. The flowering period, bloom phenology, floral structure and fruit set of crossed genotypes were monitored, illustrated and a season phenogram was established. The pollen viability and germination were also evaluated. In order to test compatibility, the hand pollination using two selected pollinizer pollens was compared to open pollination. Then, the compatibility system was monitored and evaluated through analysis of crossing diallel programs and through the index of self-incompatibility. The flowering periods are genotype depending and one to three blooms have been observed during the two years study (2018-2019) and the argane tree is a tristylous species (Mesostylous, brevistylous and longistylous flowers). The in vitro tests showed that the pollen originated from crossed genotypes were viable and able to germinate. The cross-compatibility rate depends on cross associations and it varies from 39 to 84 %. In fact, this study showed that the effect of pollen-parent (xenia) occurs in all fruit components of argane tree. It was observed, for the first time, that both compatible pollinizers and xenic effects of pollen on argane fruit have occurred. Artificial pollination is currently feasible for breeding programs and the screening of elite genotypes. Then the selected pollinizer is quite required for the development of argane tree cropping.