A high proportion of viable pollen grains must germinate to study the physiology of pollen growth to reduce the confounding effects of environmental influences on pollen germination. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the nuclear state and develop a suitable medium and culture method for in vitro germination of johnsongrass pollen. Johnsongrass pollen was trinucleate, and in vitro tests for pollen viability using Alexander's stain and a fluorochromatic reaction method (FCR) indicated johnsongrass pollen was viable (92.6 to 98.4%). A factorial treatment arrangement of four concentrations of sucrose, two concentrations of boric acid, and two concentrations of calcium nitrate were used to determine the optimum pollen-germination medium composition in suspension culture, agar culture, and cellophane membrane culture. Germination was highest in a suspension culture with a medium containing 0.3 M sucrose, 2.4 mM boric acid, and 3 mM calcium nitrate. Pollen germination using this medium was 78.9% when anthers were harvested just before anthesis.
Nomenclature: Johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. SORHA