Selection of male date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.) at "Daouia" station (Oued Souf, Algeria).
The date palm is one of the oldest fruit trees [5,1,15]. The botanical name of date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L., is presumably derived from a Phoenician name "Phoenix" which means date palm, and "dactylifera" is derived from a Greek word daktulos meaning a finger, illustrating the fruits' form . Dactylifera Phoenix is a palm in the genus Phoenix . It belonging to the Arecaceae family represents an important economical and ecological culture for many countries [19,4,16]. Date Palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is Monocot and it has been widely cultivated for its fruits . It is dioecious , a diploid (2n=2x=36) , and the predicted genome size is estimated to be approximately between 550 and 650 Mbp . This species is widely cultivated in Algeria and occupies a very important place in Sahara agriculture and the nation's economy. The male palm trees pose a particular problem; they generally result from seeds seldom cloned and often constitute unique genotypes. The quality of pollen varies from one palm tree to another .
The male palm trees locally named "Dokkars" are form heterogeneous populations. They are sometimes identified by the name of the female cultivar which resembles to it phenotypically . The selection of good pollen is essential for the improvement of the yields and the production quality since obtaining the significant yields is related to the success of pollination and the wise choice of the pollinators . Many investigations on the selection and evaluation of male date palms showed that these male palm trees are different in physiological parameters [2,8,40,23,3,24,27,28,22,39].
Within the frame of this work, carried out at the "Daouia" Agricultural Exploitation Company (Oued Souf, South-eastern Algeria), 80 male palm trees were investigated. Thus, 80 trees were divided into four groups resembling phenotypically to the four local varieties ("Deglet Nour", "Degla Beida", "Ghars" and "D'guel").
The qualitative characteristics according to the description of the farmers, and the quantitative features related to the pollen grains were studied. The aim of this study consists in defining, through the statistical analysis, the quality parameters of the palm trees and the pollen in order to characterize the male palm trees and select the best one.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The studied station:
The "Daouia" station is situated between 6[degrees]47'21" and 6[degrees]48'27" east longitude, and 33[degrees]22'6" and 33[degrees]20'46" north latitude. It is located between 4 Municipalities of El-Oued County (El Oued, Ouermes, Oued El Alennda and Robbah) with a surface area of more than 300 acre. It counts a total of 15866 female palm trees and 715 male palm trees (Fig. 1).
Accordingly, four types of male palm trees were studied. They were defined according to their morphological appearances approved by the station as follows: type "Deglet Nour" (DN) noted A, type "Degla Beida" (DB) noted B, type "Ghars" (GH) noted C and type "D'guel" (DG) noted D. Twenty trees of each type having roughly the same age were randomly sampled.
Characteristics of the palm trees:
The qualitative characteristics are obtained from the investigations of the station's farmers. However, three states are noted; well irrigated A, well maintained B; well irrigated and badly maintained C, and badly irrigated and badly maintained. For maturity, based on flowering time, males were grouped as follows; early flowering (during February), seasonal (mid flowering, during March) and late flowering (during April and sometimes extended till the first week of May). For the production of the spathes, 3 variables exist; many, medium and few. For the production of pollen, 3 groups were defined; rich, medium and poor . For the pollen quality, it is determined according to its color and odor, and they are divided into 3 categories; good, fair and bad.
Study of pollen:
The matured spathes were collected from the male trees. For pollen extraction, the strands were cut off and spread on paper sheets to dry slowly during few days in clean rooms. Then, the pollen grains were separated from the flower parts by using fine sieves. Pollen samples were stored in vials and transported to the Palynology laboratory at the University Badji Mokhtar-Annaba .
Test of pollen viability:
Pollen viability was determined by staining techniques. A small amount of pollen grains was placed on slide and 1-2 drop of 1% acetocarmine solution was added. The slides were placed for few minutes on a hot plate. The viability of pollen grains was examined under a light microscope at 400x magnifying power (Model Zeiss). Pollen grains that stained red were considered viable, whereas the colorless pollen grains were considered non-viable, and then the percent viability was calculated on 300 grains of pollen .
The percentage of "in vitro" germination was defined as being the relationship between the number of germinated grains and the full number of grains to be germinated. The basic solution for the "in vitro" germination of pollen is that of . This solution was modified and adapted to the pollen of date palms by . It is called Modified Brewbaker and Kwack (MBK). The solution composition was as the following; 15% sucrose, 50 ppm [H.sub.3]P[O.sub.4], 300 ppm Ca[(N[O.sub.3]).sub.2], 200 ppm MgS[O.sub.4], 100 ppm KN[O.sub.3], 100ml of distilled water and 1% Agar [13,12].
The XLStat version 2009 software for windows was used as follows:
1) Data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the significance levels (P < 0.05, P < 0.01 and P < 0.001) were determined by the F-test .
2) Linear correlation was performed to determine the association among physiological parameters by using Pearson correlation coefficient .
3) The factorial correspondence analysis allows to find causal links between the 80 "Dokkars", on one hand, and the 7 parameters studied (% of viable pollen grains, % of germination, localization, maturity, production of the spathes, production of pollen and quality according to the Farmers) on the other hand .
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Tables 1, 2, 3 and 4 have the experimental results of the 7 parameters studied for the four types of male palm trees, "Deglet Nour" (A), "Degla Beida" (B), "Ghars" (C) and "D'guel" (D).
The pollen viability:
By the vital coloring:
The pollen viability measured by acetocarmine method is higher than 75% for all the palm trees. Several authors noted that the viability of the fresh pollen of date palm has been almost always higher than 75% [36,8,40,3,28,7,17].
By in vitro germination:
The germination percentage of the studied pollen grains varies between 45 and 95%. The pollen variation of "Deglet Nour", "Degla Beida", "Ghars" and "D'guel" types was 58-92%, 60.67- 94.67%, 54-91% and 45.6787.67%, respectively.
Table 5 shows the analysis of variance to only one parameter for the physiological characteristics of vital coloring and in vitro germination tests. It shows a significant difference (P < 0.05) between the four types. This confirms the results obtained by [2,8,3,22,23,24] who reported also a highly significant difference (P < 0.01) between the four types. Similar results were obtained by [27,39]. Table 5 shows also a very highly significant difference (P < 0.001) between these types. However, this result is noted by . The differences in pollen viability among studied male types can be used to study the variability in their genetic characteristics. A positive correlation (r = 0.92) exist between the two tests of viability (table 6).
Descriptive Analyses of the male palm trees characteristics:
The figure 2 shows that the majority of the studied male palm trees are of good quality (60%), well irrigated and well maintained (42%), early (47%) and produce a high number of spathes (43%). Thus, 38% of these palm trees produce a low quantity of pollen and 36% of them produce a medium quantity. Nasr et al.  noticed that from the 601 male palm trees studied in Saudi Arabia, 46.06% produce pollen of fair quantity. The evaluation of the production of "Daouia" station allowed us to consider that the "Dokkars" flowering period is seldom extended until the month of May. This is the case in almost every oasis of the potential production zones of the date palms in the world [29,21,33].
From a positive side, the group "I" corresponds to the characteristics of mean pollen quality (Q2): medium percentage of viable pollen grains (Vp2 = 85-90%) and medium percentage of germinated pollen (G2= 65-75%). The male palm trees are well irrigated and badly maintained, seasonal (mid flowering) and produce a medium number of spathes and a medium quantity of pollen. The majority of them are of types "Deglet Nour" (26%), "Degla Beida" (26%) and "Ghars" (26%).
From a negative side, the group "II" corresponds to the characteristics of bad pollen quality (Q3): a very low percentage of viable pollen grains (Vp3 = 75-85%) and very low percentage of germinated pollen (G3= 4565%). The male palm trees are badly irrigated and badly maintained, late and produce a few of spathes and a poor quantity of pollen. Most of them are of type "D'guel" (42%).
From an intermediate side, the group "III" corresponds to the characteristics of good pollen quality (Q1): a very high percentage of viable pollen grains (Vp1 = 90-100%) and a very high percentage of germinated pollen (G1= 75-95%). This result is noticed by several authors who confirmed that the percentage of germination of good quality pollen is higher than 75% [32,7]. The male palm trees are well irrigated and well maintained, early and produce a great number of spathes and a great quantity of pollen. Most of them are of types "Deglet Nour" (37%) and "Degla Beida" (37%).
Figure 3 enables us to distinguish the male palm trees of bad quality (A2, A8, A9, A16, B8, B15, B17, B19, C2, C3, C4, C5, C7, C12, C15, C16, C18, C19, D1, D4, D7, D8, D9, D10, D12, D13, D14, D15, D18, D19 and D20), of mean quality (A3, A4, A10, A14, A18, B2, B3, B11, B14, B20, C1, C6, C9, C10, C14, D3, D6, D11 and D16) and of good quality (A1, A5, A6, A7, A11, A12, A13, A15, A17, A19, A20, B1, B4, B5, B6, B7, B9, B10, B12, B13, B16, B18, C8, C11, C13, C17, C20, D2, D5 and D17).
When the dominance of male date palms of types "Deglet Nour" and "Degla Beida" in the good group quality is more than the mean quality group. Thus, the FCA shows that most of the male palm trees of good quality are of types "Deglet Nour" and "Degla Beida", of mean quality are of type "Ghars" and of bad quality are of type "D'guel".
When the results of the statistical analysis were compared by FCA and the farmers' observations, a contradiction in the quality of pollens of the following trees were noted; A2, A3, A4, A8, A9, A16, B2, B3, B8, B11, B14, B15, B17, B19, B20, C3, C4, C10, C18 and D16.
The majority of the studied male palm trees are in good state for all the descriptive parameters held by farmers (well localized, early, and producing a great number of spathes and a good quality of pollen), except the pollen production parameter (a little or medium quantity of pollen is produced).
The estimation of the pollen viability revealed that the percentage of viable pollen grains oscillates between 75 and 100%. The percentage of germination of the good quality pollen is higher than 75%. The viability characteristics vary considerably from one type to another. Consequently, there is a high heterogeneity between the various types of male palm, and every one of them contains specific characteristics.
The factorial correspondence analysis shows that the selection of the best productive trees of good pollen is based primarily on six parameters; the very high percentage of viable pollen grains, the very high percentage of germination, a good irrigation and maintenance, precocity, production of a great number of spathes and a rich quantity of pollen. It shows a contradiction about the quality according to farmers on some male palm trees. Thus, the farmers' observations are not effective to evaluate pollen. For that, the quality parameters should be studied in laboratory for the confirmation or the invalidation; as in the case of pollen viability test studied in this work.
The final aim of the actual research is to select, on the level of "Daouia" station, the best male palm trees, which had presented a good genetic potential in order to multiply them vegetatively and eliminate the bad "Dokkars". Moreover, some palm trees of fair quality may give, in other climatic conditions, good pollen. For that, a confirming investigation is suggested to carry out this experimental work again in the coming seasons in order to recognize and determine the stable parameters and consider them as quality indicators.
Received 11 October 2014
Received in revised form 21 November 2014
Accepted 25 December 2014
Available online 16 January 2015
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(1) Bilal Benamor, (1) Larbi Boughediri and (2) Adel Chala
(1) Laboratory of Plant Biology and Environment, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Badji Mokhtar, P. O. Box 12 Annaba 23000, Algeria.
(2) Laboratory of Applied Mathematics, Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Sciences, University of Mohammed Khider, P.O. Box 145 Biskra 07000, Algeria.
Corresponding Author: Bilal Benamor. Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Badji Mokhtar, P.O. Box 12. Annaba 23000. Algeria.
Tel: +213666729206; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Table 1: Results of pollen viability and the descriptive characteristics of palm trees type "Deglet Nour". Males % of viable % of Localization pollen germination grains A1 93.67 84 A A2 84.67 64 A A3 89 71 A A4 89.67 74 B A5 92 76 A A6 98.33 85.67 B A7 99.33 81.33 A A8 83.67 58 C A9 84.33 61 A A10 89.33 69 B A11 96 82 C A12 97 86.33 C A13 95.33 80.67 A A14 88.33 68 B A15 93 79.33 A A16 84 60 A A17 94.33 78.33 C A18 88 66.67 C A19 96.33 90 B A20 94 92 C Average 91.52 75.37 [+ or -] [+ or -] 4.97 10.23 Males Maturity Production Production Quality of spathes of pollen A1 Late Few Rich Good A2 Late Many Medium Good A3 Late Many Poor Good A4 Early Many Poor Good A5 Late Many Rich Good A6 Late Many Poor Good A7 Early Medium Medium Good A8 Early Many Poor Good A9 Late Few Medium Good A10 Late Medium Medium Fair A11 Late Many Medium Good A12 Early Many Rich Good A13 Early Few Medium Good A14 Seasonal Many Medium Fair A15 Early Many Poor Good A16 Early Many Rich Good A17 Early Few Medium Good A18 Late Medium Medium Fair A19 Early Few Rich Good A20 Early Medium Rich Good Average Table 2: Results of pollen viability and the descriptive characteristics of palm trees type "Degla Beida". Males % of viable % of Localization pollen grains germination B1 96.33 87 A B2 87.67 67 B B3 88.33 73 A B4 99 91 B B5 95.67 85.33 A B6 98.67 92.67 B B7 97.67 94.67 C B8 84 63 A B9 99.67 80 C B10 98 88.33 A B11 88.67 70.33 C B12 92.33 82 A B13 93.67 86 C B14 89.67 71.67 B B15 84.67 61.33 A B16 99.33 89 C B17 84.33 60.67 C B18 98.33 93.67 A B19 83.67 63.67 A B20 89.33 74.67 B Average 92.45 78.75 [+ or -] [+ or -] 5.84 11.71 Males Maturity Production of Production of Quality spathes pollen B1 Early Medium Rich Good B2 Early Medium Medium Good B3 Early Few Medium Good B4 Early Many Rich Good B5 Seasonal Many Rich Good B6 Seasonal Many Medium Good B7 Late Many Rich Good B8 Early Many Poor Good B9 Seasonal Many Poor Good B10 Early Few Poor Good B11 Early Many Medium Good B12 Early Many Rich Good B13 Early Many Poor Good B14 Early Many Medium Good B15 Early Medium Poor Good B16 Early Few Rich Good B17 Seasonal Few Rich Fair B18 Late Many Medium Good B19 Seasonal Many Poor Good B20 Early Few Poor Good Average Table 3: Results of pollen viability and the descriptive characteristics of palm trees type "Ghars". Males % of viable % of Localization pollen grains germination C1 88 70.33 B C2 81 59.67 C C3 83.67 61 C C4 84.33 62 A C5 83 63.33 A C6 88.67 72.67 A C7 80.67 64 A C8 95.33 87 A C9 87 72 C C10 88.33 73.67 B C11 91 86.33 A C12 84 59 C C13 97 90.33 C C14 86 67.33 B C15 82 57.33 B C16 80.33 58 B C17 96 85.67 C C18 81.33 54 A C19 82.33 56 C C20 94 91 B Average 86.70 69.53 [+ or -] [+ or -] 5.44 12.34 Males Maturity Production Production Quality of spathes of pollen C1 Seasonal Many Poor Fair C2 Early Few Poor Bad C3 Seasonal Medium Poor Fair C4 Early Few Rich Good C5 Seasonal Few Poor Bad C6 Early Medium Medium Fair C7 Late Many Poor Bad C8 Early Few Poor Good C9 Seasonal Few Medium Fair C10 Early Medium Rich Good C11 Early Medium Poor Good C12 Late Few Medium Bad C13 Early Many Medium Good C14 Seasonal Medium Medium Fair C15 Late Few Poor Bad C16 Late Medium Poor Bad C17 Early Medium Medium Good C18 Early Many Medium Good C19 Early Many Medium Bad C20 Early Many Poor Good Average Table 4: Results of pollen viability and the descriptive characteristics of palm trees type "D'guel". Males % of viable % of Localization pollen grains germination D1 75.67 51 B D2 96.33 79 A D3 87 69 B D4 79.67 48.33 C D5 99 87.67 A D6 89 67 C D7 92 81 C D8 78 49 A D9 76 47.67 A D10 77 63 A D11 86.33 71.33 A D12 75.33 57 C D13 76.67 64.33 A D14 77.67 55.33 C D15 78.33 59 A D16 88 72 B D17 91 82 A D18 79 60 C D19 81.33 46.33 B D20 82 45.67 C Average 83.27 62.78 [+ or -] [+ or -] 7,29 13,06 Males Maturity Production Production Quality of spathes of pollen D1 Late Few Medium Bad D2 Early Few Rich Good D3 Late Medium Rich Fair D4 Early Few Medium Bad D5 Seasonal Many Medium Good D6 Seasonal Medium Medium Fair D7 Seasonal Few Rich Bad D8 Late Many Rich Bad D9 Early Few Poor Bad D10 Late Few Poor Bad D11 Seasonal Medium Poor Fair D12 Late Many Poor Bad D13 Late Medium Rich Bad D14 Late Medium Poor Bad D15 Seasonal Few Medium Bad D16 Seasonal Many Rich Good D17 Early Many Medium Good D18 Late Few Poor Bad D19 Late Many Poor Bad D20 Seasonal Few Poor Bad Average Table 5: Analysis of variance of viability parameter. Parameters Source of variations D.f. Mean square % of viable Male 3 368.89 pollen Error 76 35.39 grains Total 79 % of Male 3 982.19 germination Error 76 141.19 Total 79 Parameters F F F P % of viable *10.43 **10.43 ***10.43 0.000 pollen grains % of *6.96 **6.96 ***6.96 0.000 germination *: significant at 5%. **: significant at 1%. ***: significant at 0.1%. Table 6: Pearson's correlation coefficient of the physiological parameters. Parameters % of viable pollen % of germination grains % of viable pollen grains 1 0.92 % of germination 0.92 1 Table 7: Viability parameters and the descriptive characters of the male palm trees subjected to the factorial correspondence analysis. Parameters N[degrees] The Definition Interval of created names of the of the classes classes classes % of viable 3 Vp1 very high (90-100%) pollen grains Vp2 Fair (85-90%) Vp3 very low (75-85%) % of "in 3 G1 very high (75-95%) vitro" G2 Fair (65-75%) germination G3 very low (45-65%) Localization 3 Lo1 A of males Lo2 B Lo3 C Maturity 3 M1 Early of males M2 Seasonal M3 Late Spathes 3 Ps1 Many Production Ps2 Medium Ps3 Few Pollen 3 Pp1 Rich production Pp2 Medium Pp3 Poor Pollen 3 Q1 Good Quality Q2 Fair Q3 Bad
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|Author:||Benamor, Bilal; Boughediri, Larbi; Chala, Adel|
|Publication:||Advances in Environmental Biology|
|Date:||Dec 1, 2014|
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