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Prunus laurocerasus: A Study of Reducing Gamete Development through Haploidy and Determining Cytotype Variability in Pollen Public Deposited

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  • Prunus laurocerasus, commonly known as cherrylaurel, is a woody shrub grown in temperate climates for its durability and landscape appeal. Due to its abundance of drupes that are spread by birds, cherrylaurel is a litter nuisance in cultivation and also has escaped cultivation such that it has naturalized. Furthermore, it is a host of western cherry fruitfly, a pest that impacts growers’ ability to export plants to neighboring states. For these reasons, a sterile form of cherrylaurel is highly desired and investigating methods to produce such a cultivar was the goal of the current study. Anther culture was attempted to create haploid (n = 11x = 88) cherrylaurel plants incapable of forming embryos in developing seed. Additionally, pollen grains were measured from five different ploidies to determine how pollen size changes with increased ploidy level and also identify ploidy level of the germ layer in cytochimeras. The results of our anther culture experiment were inconclusive. Callus was developed on several samples, though callus began to die after five weeks. In future experiments sucrose concentrations will be reduced and callus will be moved to fluorescent lighting after 30 days to mimic other studies in the genus. Pollen measurements identified three statistically significant groups. Standard cytotype (22x) plants had smallest pollen, 33x and cytochimeras were larger but not different from each other, and 44x plants had the largest pollen. Our results show that pollen size does increase with ploidy, and that all accessions observed still show pollen production.
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