Receptivity of Female Inflorescence in Major Date Palm Cultivars of Saudi Arabia

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Author(s) Howladar, K. M. | Al-Hussaini, M. S. | Al-Moosa, A.H. | Ben Abdallah, A.
Pages 297-303
Volume 4
Issue 7
Date July, 2015
Keywords Phoenix Dactylifera, Pollination, Female Flowers, Spathe Cracking, Receptivity
Abstract

Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L. is a major fruit crop of Saudi Arabia where over 400 cultivars are known to exist. The crop is characterized by unisexual female (pistillate) and male (staminate) inflorescence that are on separate palms, where artificial pollination is traditionally carried out manually, so as to sustain yield levels and also ensure better fruit quality. During 2013 and 2014 we tested the receptivity of the female inflorescence after spathe cracking (opening) by adopting manual pollination in five major Saudi Arabian date palm cultivars viz. Sagae , Sheshi, Ruzeiz, Sukary and Khalas at 1, 8, 16 and 20 days after opening of the female spathe. Results revealed that both fruit set and fructification were significantly superior in all the cultivars studied when pollination was taken up at 1 and 8 Days After Spathe Cracking (DASC). Interaction effects reveal that maximum cumulative and statistically similar fruit set of 72.00 and 67.37% was observed when the cultivar Ruzeiz was pollinated at 1 and 8 DASC, respectively. Further, significant and maximum cumulative fructification was recorded in the cultivar Sukary (49.79%) when pollination was carried out 1 DASC, which was statistically similar to the cultivar Ruzeiz pollinated at 1 and 8 DASC. Delaying pollination in the test cultivars to 16 and 20 DASC resulted in significant decline in both fruit set and fructification.

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