Stigma receptivity and anther dehiscence in ornamental pepper

ABSTRACT The objective of this study was to evaluate stigma receptivity and anther dehiscence in three floral development stages in F3 population of ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum). A total of 162 plants (81 of purple corolla and 81 of white corolla) were used in this study. To analyze the stigma receptivity and anther dehiscence, three floral stages were analyzed: bud, pre-anthesis, and open flower. For each stage, 33 flowers of each phenotypic class were collected. The receptivity of the stigma was detected by dripping hydrogen peroxide solution (3%). For the evaluation of the level of receptivity, scores of 0 to 3 were assigned, varying according to the bubbles percentage found on the stigmatic surface. Scores of 1 to 5 were assigned for the reference of the amount of pollen released by the stamens. The data were subjected to analysis of variance (p≤0.05) following a 2x3 factorial scheme: two classes of flower colors and three development stages, with 33 replicates (flowers) with later separation of means by Tukey’s test at the same probability level. For the analysis of divergence, the data were clustered according to Tocher’s method based on generalized Mahalanobis distance. Despite the not significant differences between the means for pollen dehiscence of both flower colors, the purple flowers presented higher stigma receptivity than the white ones. The ornamental pepper flowers displayed stigma receptivity since the bud phase, but the highest level of receptivity was observed after anthesis. Anther dehiscence prevailed after anthesis of the flowers regardless of color, and the presence of pollen grains was superior after anthesis. For the manual crossing, the buds at pre-anthesis phase are the most indicated irrespective of the color, as they show high stigma receptivity and greater ease at handling.