Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2007, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (6): 1199-1204.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2007.0149

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles


WANG Hong-Wei1,2(), DENG Hui-Sheng1,3, TAN Hai-Ming4, QIN Kun4, ZHANG Ding-Heng5, GE Song1,*()   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2College of Plant Protection, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
    3Liuzhou Teachers College, Liuzhou, Guangxi 545004, China
    4Dayaoshan Mountain National Nature Reserve, Jinxiu, Guangxi 545700, China
    5Huaping National Nature Reserve, Longsheng, Guangxi 541700, China
  • Received:2006-07-21 Accepted:2006-07-21 Online:2007-07-21 Published:2007-11-30
  • Contact: GE Song


Aims Cathaya argyrophylla is one of the most endangered conifers endemic to China. Previous studies showed that this species was characterized by unusually low fertility and high embryonic mortality, which may be factors leading to its endangerment. Because knowledge of pollen viability is important for successful reproduction of plant species, we investigated pollen viability in natural populations of C. argyrophylla.

Methods We collected pollen samples from 16 individuals of seven populations in two locations, Dayaoshan (DYS) in Sichuan and Huaping (HP) in Guangxi. We evaluated pollen viability using the TTC method and analyzed its variation based on ANOVA.

Important findings Pollen viability of C. argyrophylla is comparable to other gymnosperms. Viability was stable in dry and low temperature conditions, and the optional sucrose concentration for pollen germination was about 13%. We found low variation of pollen viability among individuals within populations (p>0.05) but significant differentiation between populations within regions and among regions (p<0.05). The pollen viability ofC. argyrophylla is normal and thus not likely relevant to its endangerment. We proposed artificial crossings between genetically distinct populations as a potential conservation strategy for the population recovery of this endangered species.

Key words: Cathaya argyrophylla, pollen viability, endangerment, conservation