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Pollination Increases Gibberellin Levels In Developing Ovaries Of Seeded Varieties Of Citrus

W. Ben-Cheikh, J. Perez-Botella, F. R. Tadeo, M. Talon, E. Primo-Millo

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Abstract Reproductive and vegetative tissues of the seeded Pineapple cultivars of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis L.) contained the following C-13 hydroxylated gibberellins (GAs): GA53, GA17, GA19, GA20, GA1, GA29, and GA8, as well as GA97, 3-epi-GA1, and several uncharacterized GAs. The inclusion of 3-epi-GA1 as an endogenous substance was based on measurements of the isomerization rates of previously added [2H2]GA1. Pollination enhanced amounts of GA19, GA20, GA29, and GA8 in developing ovaries. Levels of GA1 increased from 5.0 to 9.5 ng/g dry weight during anthesis and were reduced thereafter. The amount of GA in mature pollen was very low. Emasculation reduced GA levels and caused a rapid 100% ovary abscission. This effect was partially counteracted by either pollination or application of GA3. In pollinated ovaries, repeated paclobutrazol applications decreased the amount of GA and increased ovary abscission, although the pattern of continuous decline was different from the sudden abscission induced by emasculation. The above results indicate that, in citrus, pollination increases GA levels and reduces ovary abscission and that the presence of exogenous GA3 in unpollinated ovaries also suppresses abscission. Evidence is also presented that pollination and GAs do not, as is generally assumed, suppress ovary abscission through the reactivation of cell division.