Reproductive biology (phenology and incompatibility) of sweet cherry varieties: impacts on production

Introduction and general aims 

Sweet cherry, one of the main produced crops in Fundão region, Castelo Branco district, is a crop with high dependence on pollination services, namely insect pollinators. During 2021 (February-May), to understand the reproductive limitations of sweet cherry and its impact on production levels, controlled pollinations were carried out between different cultivars, in order to quantify levels of compatibility between them and levels of self-compatibility. Additionally, the floral phenology of the cultivars was observed, and natural pollination values were quantified. 



The floral phenology of sweet cherry cultivars was followed through repeated observations, by counting the number of flowers in the different floral stages. Pollinations were carried out in an agricultural context, with fruit production as the response variable, and in a greenhouse, with quantification of the number of pollen tubes. 


Techniques used 

Controlled pollinations, with pollen supplementation in sweet cherry blossoms, in an agricultural context and in a greenhouse. 

Production evaluation, through quantitative (fruit production) and qualitative (weight and size) aspects. 

Pollen tubes observation using fluorescence microscopy. 

Responsible Team 

Catarina Siopa (PhD student (FCT) – CEF-UC) 
Sílvia Castro (CEF-UC) 
João Loureiro (CEF-UC) 
Hugo Gaspar (Cultivar technician) 
Sara Lopes (PhD student (FCT) – CFE-UC) 

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