Microwaving pollen

Started by Uli, March 16, 2022, 02:08:55 AM

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Dear All,

The article describing the microwaving of pollen to overcome self incompatibility was put into the Wiki by Robin and David. Thank you very much to both of you for editing and formatting. The title was somewhat misleading and has now been changed. Thank you, Tim, to pointing this out.
I am at present using this technique on Cyrtanthus falcatus
for the first time and again on Hippeastrum evansiae
. It has failed on an Aloe species but with the Aloe I had the impression that there was almost no pollen.

I will keep you updated and I am most interested in your feedback. I am very sure that this method can be improved.
Here is the link to the Wiki again.  https://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Microwave

Bye for now

Algarve, Portugal
350m elevation, frost free
Mediterranean Climate

David Pilling

The original title was
"Microwaving Pollen to Achieve Viable Seed"
The fixed title is
"Microwaving Pollen to Overcome Self Incompatibility / Self Sterility"
which is better. The list post title is
"Link to article on Microwave Propagation Using Pollen"
which after it was pointed out, sounds like an engineering paper. A quick Google does not reveal much confusion. But I did find myself saying something sensible about microwaving pollen (OK vaguely) in a PBS list discussion:

I am not the highlight of that discussion, Nhu is, suggesting how it might work.

Interesting that font size can vary on this forum. People who use the biggest text might get the most attention.

Martin Bohnet

Quote from: David Pilling on March 16, 2022, 07:51:08 PMInteresting that font size can vary on this forum. People who use the biggest text might get the most attention.

Actually I think it wasn't Uli's intention, but something the rich text editor did when copying/pasting - one of those things that are convenient for the average user and a pain for someone who wants to control typography
Martin (pronouns: he/his/him)

David Pilling

Yep, that was my problem copy and paste and the text size is different. Standard user will not care or know how to fix things. Ah well will make things more interesting.


Dear All,

As promised before I would like to update you with my experiments using microwaved pollen on self incompatible plants.
In this case Hippeastrum evansiae. This plant has been flowering for me for more than 20 years and never set seed. It is a stoloniferous bulb, so a big potful is just one clone. (Clone 1)  This year I had a different clone (Clone 2) in flower for the very first time. So comparison is possible between cross pollination and self pollination.
The result is very simple:
All flowers pollinated with microwaved pollen did not set seed, almost all cross pollinated flowers have big seed capsules in both directions and all flowers left unpollinated aborted as well.
Here is the number of flowers in detail
Clone 1: 9 scapes with 20 flowers. Of which 4 flowers were left with no pollination
9 flowers were repeatedly pollinated with microwaved pollen following the procedure described here https://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Microwave
7 flowers were pollinated using pollen of clone 2 of which one aborted, why?
Clone 2: one scape with 2 flowers. Both flowers were pollinated with pollen of clone 1 and have big seed capsules.
Last year I successfully produced one seed pod on clone 1 with its own microwaved pollen but I have no record of the exact details of the procedure, it was not exactly the same as used this year. So.... Many open questions.....

Then there is an unnamed Albuca species (it is not Albuca aurea which sets copious amounts of seed) of which seedlings produced of microwaved pollen are flowering for the very first time. Unfortunately the mother plant is very delayed and in declining condition so that a direct comparison is not possible at this moment. From memory they are identical to the mother. The seedlings appear uniform and very healthy, there are more than these three ones.

The seedlings of Albuca clanwilliamigloria are still growing well but will soon go dormant.

The pictures show the flowering plants of Hippeastrum evansiae  (not a brilliant foto) the flowers in the left upper part are clone 1 and the two flowers on  the lower right side are clone 2. they are slightly different with clone 2 having slightly wavy petals and a green throat

The second picture shows maturing seed capsules. They are big but the camera has oversized them. Not all of them are in the pictures, the 3 capsules on the left are clone 1 and the two on the right are clone 2

The third picture shows the Albuca species, flowering  seedlings.22558197-BED6-4651-81CE-86167AF9BE9D.jpg
1B11174B-1824-4F56-B9F2-1C06F507A2AD.jpg BE2A4785-D03C-4ACC-AB61-5E6387ED3486.jpg
Algarve, Portugal
350m elevation, frost free
Mediterranean Climate