Induction of pollen sterility in grapes (<i>Vitis vinifera</i>)

  • C. P. A. Iver Division of Horticulture, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi
  • G. S. Randhawa Division of Horticulture, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi


The morphology of the grape flower renders hand emasculation very tedious and hence hinders large scale hybridisation work. Chemical induction of male sterility which has been successfully achieved in some crops may likewise aid in grape breeding, if the method proves practicable. This paper deals with an experiment designed to achieve this object.
Three varieties of grapes, Bhokri, Hussaini and Rosem-T-Lahore (all belonging to Vitis vinifera) were tested with three different chemicals, viz. maleic hydrazide, tri-iodobenzoic acid and FW-450, using various concentrations. In the first two varieties the dosages of maleic hydrazide 500 ppm, tri-iodobenzoic acid 400 ppm and FW-450 0.30% was found to induce complete pollen sterility. However, the third variety needed higher concentrations. In all cases two applications of the chemicals were necessary to induce comp1ete pollen sterility.
In addition to inducing pollen sterility, FW-450 prevented anthesis and anther dehiscence. Considering the fruit set and seed set obtained in the male sterile flowers (induced by various chemicals) rby using good pollen, maleic hydrazide appears to be most promising. The chemical treatments did not influence seed germination. The most important factors with regard to the use of this method were  
(1) the variety used,
(2) the chemical applied,
(3) the number of applications of the chemical and
(4) the stage at which the chemical treatments are made.
The implications of these results have been discussed.