Pollen Analysis in Brassicaceae

Why is it Important to Measure Brassicaceae Pollen Quality?

Sufficient pollen viability and pollen amount are essential for a high seed set and are indispensable for a cost-efficient seed production. Identifying high pollen quality lines as early as during the breeding process saves both time and resources not only in breeding, but also later in production research and seed production. Additionally, this valuable analysis provides breeders with an in-depth knowledge about the genotype-phenotype interaction,  helps to avoid environmentally induced plant stress by suggesting the proper line placement in respect to the climate zones, and decreases the chance of unsuccessful pollination.

Our Brassicaceae chip features automated data analysis of pollen viability and quantity for Brassicaceae vegetables and oilseed rape (canola). In combination with the portable Ampha P20 Analyzer, it provides instant results, as well as time and resource efficient in-field and greenhouse measurements.

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Characterization of pollen quality of inbred lines and hybrids in breeding

    • Identify the best pollinators
    • Check successful fertility restoration

Improvement of Brassicaceae seed production

    • Avoid pollination deficiencies by improving seed production planning
    • Preserve pollen and increase success in artificial pollination

Optimization of double haploid production processes*

    • Identify proper microspore development staging
    • Monitor progression of embryos development

*Exclusive Ampha Z40 Pollen Analyzer application



Characterization of Pollen Quality of Inbred Lines and Hybrids in Breeding

Viable pollen is a basic requirement for successful pollination. However, the viability can differ between the lines. Our Brassicaceae chip with automated data analysis offers a fast, reliable, and cost-efficient solution for line-screening.

Line-screening of Broccoli

In a trial, pollen of different varieties was analyzed. The illustration shows the variation of pollen viability across 30 different lines, all grown under the same conditions in a greenhouse. Pollen screening enables the identification of the best-performing lines, based on pollen viability. Lines with a high pollen viability, in combination with a low amount of aberrant cells, promise high seed set and less problems in production research and seed production. Bad pollinators, characterized by low viability and a high share of aberrant pollen cells, should therefore not be further considered for seed production.

Improvement of Brassicaceae Seed Production

Seed production yield of Brassicaceae crops can be strongly influenced by environmental factors, such as heat and drought stress. The appearance and amount of aberrant cells, which are aborted cells during pollen development, is a strong indicator for abiotic stress. The measurement of pollen viability and determination of aberrant cells with our technology should therefore be a standard parameter in line characterization and considered for purposeful crop-placement.

Detection of Stressed Lines

The plot represents the difference between a heat-stressed and non-stressed line. The large proportion of aberrant cells in the stressed line goes in parallel with a much lower number of viable cells and indicates a much lower tolerance to the climatic conditions. Seed production of this line should therefore take place under more moderate conditions or should not be further considered for seed production.

Optimization of Double Haploid Production

Double haploid production is a standard method in modern breeding and its success strongly relies on the proper microspore selection. With our technology you can identify the appropriate developmental stage of microspores to further proceed with double haploid production. This will ultimately increase the efficiency and output of the DH production process.

Microspore Developmental Stages of Oilseed Rape

The figures below show measurements of oilseed rape microspores in various developmental stages. Our technology provides the possibility to exactly identify microspores in the specific level. Microspores at a late uninucleate stage (highlighted) should be selected for the induction to proceed in the further process. The use of the right microspores for the subsequent DH production improves the efficiency of the whole process.

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Our pollen experts can give you valuable insights on the benefits of pollen quality monitoring in your specific case. We are happy to help you improve!


Viability & Count Application Review
Corn Pollen Application Review
PLOS Article on Pollen Analysis
Chapter 25 on Analysis Protocols