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Scientia Agricola

On-line version ISSN 1678-992X


PIOTTO, Fernando Angelo; BATAGIN-PIOTTO, Katherine Derlene; ALMEIDA, Marcílio de  and  OLIVEIRA, Giancarlo Conde Xavier. Interspecific xenia and metaxenia in seeds and fruits of tomato. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2013, vol.70, n.2, pp.102-107. ISSN 1678-992X.

Xenia, the transmission of traits from the pollinizer to the female's tissues, is a phenomenon hitherto unknown in tomatoes. Here, we describe xenia effects on the seeds and fruits of Solanum lycopersicum, the tomato, elicited by S. galapagense. The wild tomatoes, such as S. galapagense, have highly pilose fruit surface and minute seeds, unlike the domesticated species. Crossings between S. galapagense (pollinizer) and two large-seeded, glabrous cultivars of S. lycopersicum (females) tested the former's ability to raise the trichome density and trichome-to-1000-cell ratio and to reduce the seed weight in the latter's fruits. Selfed fruits of the two cultivars, Micro-Tom and Pusa Ruby, were compared to the crossed fruits. The pollen of S. galapagense was able to raise pilosity and to reduce seed weight in the crossed fruits of both cultivars, but with different magnitudes: seed reduction was more intense in Pusa Ruby, while pilosity increase was greater in Micro-Tom, both of which characterize xenia. Pilosity increase is not completely dependent on variation in epidermal cell density, which displayed no xenia effect. The difference between the maternal cultivars in the magnitude of pilosity increase may be due to the higher dilution of a putative male chemical signal (either hormone or RNA) in the larger fruits of Pusa Ruby. However, one cannot use the signal diffusion hypothesis to explain the xenia effects on seed weight.

Keywords : hormones; pollination; microscopy; wild relative.

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