Term of Award

Winter 1990

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Timothy P. Spira

Committee Member 1

Lisa K. Wagner

Committee Member 2

Michael P. Moulton

Abstract

It is generally assumed that pollen tube growth is largely determined by genetic factors. The purpose of this study was to assess the potential influence of an environmental factor (water stress) on germination and pollen tube growth. Research was conducted at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD. Hibiscus moscheutos L. (Malvaceae) genets were cloned and placed in seven gallon pots in a common garden. One-half of the plants were water stressed. Pollen from stressed and nonstressed plants was used to pollinate two separate stigma lobes per flower. After 2 3/4 hours, styles were harvested, fixed in ethyl alcohol and stained prior to assessing pollen tube growth via fluorescent microscopy. The number of callose plugs at the base of each style was used as an indicator of pollen tube growth rate.

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