Journal Article

Is <i>Eucalyptus</i> Cryptically Self-incompatible?

Tasmien N. Horsley and Steven D. Johnson

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 100, issue 6, pages 1373-1378
Published in print November 2007 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online September 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Is Eucalyptus Cryptically Self-incompatible?

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Background and Aims

The probability that seeds will be fertilized from self- versus cross-pollen depends strongly on whether plants have self-incompatibility systems, and how these systems influence the fate of pollen tubes.


In this study of breeding systems in Eucalyptus urophylla and Eucalyptus grandis, epifluorescence microscopy was used to study pollen tube growth in styles following self- and cross-pollinations.

Key Results

Pollen tubes from self-pollen took significantly longer than those from cross-pollen to grow to the base of the style in both E. urophylla (120 h vs. 96 h) and E. grandis (96 h vs. 72 h). In addition, both species exhibited reduced seed yields following self-pollination compared with cross-pollination.


The present observations suggest that, in addition to a late-acting self-incompatibility barrier, cryptic self-incompatibility could be a mechanism responsible for the preferential out-crossing system in these two eucalypt species.

Keywords: Eucalyptus urophylla; Eucalyptus grandis; epifluorescence microscopy; cryptic self-incompatibility

Journal Article.  3355 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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