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Agronomy (Switzerland)

Noemi Tel Zur - French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Beersheba 84990000, Israel. 

Ronen Rothschild - Jojoba Israel Ltd., Kibbutz Hatzerim 8542000, Israel. 

Udi Zurgil - French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Beersheba 84990000, Israel

The seeds of the dioecious shrub jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schneider) yield a liquid wax that is in high demand for the cosmetics industry. While elite female cultivars of this species are currently clonally propagated, male plants are grown from seed, resulting in large variations in both the flowering period and the pollen viability, and hence large variation in yields. We characterized the existing male plant material in a local plantation as a platform for future selection of elite male cultivars that would produce sufficient amounts of viable pollen throughout the extended flowering period of the female cultivars. Using as a guide the number of viable pollen grains per 1-m branch, defined here as the calculated effective pollen productivity (EPP), we identified plants with an elevated EPP that flower concurrently with the female cultivars.

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Characterization of Flowering Time and Pollen Production in Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) towards a Strategy for the Selection of Elite Male Genotypes
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Noemi Tel Zur - French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Beersheba 84990000, Israel. 

Ronen Rothschild - Jojoba Israel Ltd., Kibbutz Hatzerim 8542000, Israel. 

Udi Zurgil - French Associates Institute for Agriculture and Biotechnology of Drylands, The Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, Beersheba 84990000, Israel

Characterization of Flowering Time and Pollen Production in Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) towards a Strategy for the Selection of Elite Male Genotypes

The seeds of the dioecious shrub jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schneider) yield a liquid wax that is in high demand for the cosmetics industry. While elite female cultivars of this species are currently clonally propagated, male plants are grown from seed, resulting in large variations in both the flowering period and the pollen viability, and hence large variation in yields. We characterized the existing male plant material in a local plantation as a platform for future selection of elite male cultivars that would produce sufficient amounts of viable pollen throughout the extended flowering period of the female cultivars. Using as a guide the number of viable pollen grains per 1-m branch, defined here as the calculated effective pollen productivity (EPP), we identified plants with an elevated EPP that flower concurrently with the female cultivars.

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