Emasculation In Plants: Meaning and Example

Emasculation In Plants

Emasculation In Plants is the process of removal of male reproductive part (Anther) from a perfect (Bisexual) flower without damaging the female reproductive part (Pistil). It is the third step in hybridization of plants after Selection(1st Step) and Evaluation(2nd Step) of parents. In bisexual flower, male reproductive part is called Stamen (Anther+Filament) and Female reproductive part is called Pistil (Stigma+Style+Ovary). In this method, we remove Stamen (Anther+Filament). After Emasculation In Plants, we do bagging of flowers to prevent undesirable cross pollination.

Uses

It is used to maintain purity within a plant. When we remove the male reproductive part, then – There is no chance of self pollination within the flower. Therefore, we can take the pollen from the desired plant and perform artificial pollination to produce better performing variety. This helps us to transfer the good characters that we are looking for from one plant to another. In short, It is done to make desirable cross pollination in Bisexual flower.

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Methods Of Emasculation In Plants

1. Hand Emasculation

Emasculation In Plants

Img Source:- Vedantu

This method is used for large flowers. With the help of forceps, the corolla are kept aside exposing the stamens. Now, The exposed stamens are clipped. It should be done before the dehiscence of Anther during the cool time of the day, probably evening.

2. Suction Method

If the flowers are of small size, we can’t use a hand method. Therefore, we use the suction method. Before anthesis, we use suction hose and minute pipette which is attached to the rubber or glass tube. The anther is removed by sucking. In this method, 6 panicles can be emasculated at a time.

3. Hot/Cold Water Treatment

In nature, Pollen grains are more sensitive to any stresses than the female reproductive part. This property can be utilised to kill pollen grain with hot or cold water without affecting the female reproductive part. Eg: The Pollen grains of rice can be killed by treating it with the water of (40-44)°C for about 10 mins.

4. Alcohol Treatment

Emasculation In Plants can be done by immersing male androecium in alcohol for a few seconds. This method is more effective than the suction method.

5. Genetic Method

This is done by nature itself. Some genetic causes stop self pollination in plants. For eg, Male Sterility and Self Incompatibility. Male Sterility is the ability of plants to produce functional male gametes(pollen) whereas Inability of functional male and female gametes to fertilise after pollination is Self Incompatibility.

6. Chemical Method

Many chemicals are available in the market that cause artificial male Sterility. For eg: Sodium Methyl Arsenate (MG2), Ethephon, GA3, Hybrex. These chemicals are called chemical hybridizing agent.

Bagging Of Plants

Immediately after Emasculation, We do bagging to prevent pollen from other plants from falling on the stigma of our emasculated plant. This prevents unwanted cross pollination. We don’t want unwanted crosses as the pollen may come from low quality plants. We do artificial pollination by taking the pollen of desirable plants with the help of a brush. Once the stigma becomes receptive the bagging is removed, stigma is dusted with the desired pollen and is rebagged.

After fertilization has taken place and flowering is initiated, bagging is removed and hence the “Employment of Cross pollination in a Bisexual flower has been achieved” The moisture and temperature is high inside the bag which may promote fungus development. Therefore, Bagging should be removed (2-3) days after artificial pollination/fertilisation. Mendal has used this technique of Emasculation and Bagging for his work.

 

Conclusion

Emasculation In Plants is a very crucial step in any breeding program. This technique helps to maintain purity. During hybridization, It helps us to cross a plant with another desirable plant to produce improved varieties.

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