Floral biology and artificial polinization in physic nut in the north of Minas Gerais state, Brazil

The aim of this work was to evaluate some aspects of the floral biology and of the reproductive system of Jatropha curcas, in Janaúba county, MG, Brazil. The number of female and male flowers, the interval between the opening of female flowers, and the formation of fruits by apomixis, self-pollination, geitonogamy and by xenogamy were registered. The ratio of male to female flowers was 20:1. The interval of opening of female flowers was of one to seven days, depending on the number of female flowers in the inflorescence. On the apomixy test, the formation of fruits occurred in only 5% of the evaluated flowers. The fruit set was between 79 and 88% through the manual self-pollination, and through the geitonogamy, and the xenogamy. In the self-pollination treatment, without the hand-pollination, the fruit set was of 20%, and the fruits formed were significantly smaller, with a lesser number of seeds per fruit and lower rate of emergence. The seeds were similar to the ones formed by natural pollination. Artificial cross-pollination is possible on physic nuts, and there is no self-incompatibility within this species.

Jatropha curcas; self-pollination; geitonogamy; natural pollination; xenogamy


Embrapa Secretaria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira Caixa Postal 040315, 70770-901 Brasília DF Brazil, Tel. +55 61 3448-1813, Fax +55 61 3340-5483 - Brasília - DF - Brazil
E-mail: pab@embrapa.br