Gossypium hirsutum flowers are easily emasculated by splitting the staminal column with the fingernail and removing the corolla and androecium. However, any damage to the ovary is considered detrimental to successful boll formation and damaged flowers are typically discarded. This study evaluated boll retention after different emasculation treatments. Removal of the membrane surrounding the ovary reduces boll retention compared to self-pollinated flowers, and showed a similar response across 18 genotypes. Damage to the ovary wall reduced boll retention compared to emasculate flowers without ovary damage. Damaged flowers could be cross-pollinated to produce additional bolls as compared to discarding the flowers.
Key words: Breeding, emasculation, Gossypium hirsutum, hybridization
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