Authors:Peng Sun, Cunquan Yuan, Li Dai, Yang Xi, Yunfei Li, Ruiyang Hu, Yuhan Sun, Zhaohe Xu, and Yun Li
Emasculation and bagging of flowers, which are widely used in the controlled pollination of monoclinous plants, may induce premature senescence, flower abscission and low fruit set. To determine the mechanism responsible for these phenomena, levels of abscisic acid (ABA), jasmonic acid (JA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), ethylene, soluble sugars, reducing sugars and free amino acids in black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) flowers subjected to different treatments were quantified at different developmental stages. The phytohormones and assimilates were also quantified in untreated flowers to investigate the presence of discernible patterns. The levels of ethylene and ABA in emasculated and bagged (EB) flowers increased prematurely compared with those of untreated flowers, whereas the content of reducing sugars in EB flowers decreased compared with that of untreated flowers. These results indicated that the premature increase in ethylene and ABA synthesis, and the decrease in reducing sugars content, in EB flowers may cause flower abscission and result in low fruit set, which may be relevant for assimilate applications and future research on the regulation of controlled pollinations with exogenous phytohormones.