Effect of pollenizers on production and fruit characteristics of date palm(Phoenix dactylifera L.) cultivar Medjool in Mexico


Abstract: Pollen from four date palm cultivars (Medjool, Zahidi, Khadrawy, and Deglet Noor) was selected to study the effect of pollenizers on Medjool female production and fruit characteristics. The study was conducted during the 2016 season in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. Three bunches of each of the four selected female palms were pollinized by each source of pollen. Results were statistically analyzed using the ANOVA test. Set percentage and fruit characteristics showed a significant effect depending on the selected pollenizer. Bunches pollinized with the Zahidi cultivar had the highest fruit set percentage at 50.30%, while bunches pollinized with the Khadrawy cultivar had the lowest set percentage at 13.25%. However, bunches pollinized with Khadrawy had the highest total weight (25.73 g), the highest weight of pulp (23.98 g), and the highest length (5.33 cm). The lowest weight of fruit (21.73 g), lowest pulp (20.39 g), and lowest fruit length (4.97 cm) was obtained from bunches pollinized with the Zahidi cultivar. The highest total yield was obtained with Zahidi pollen at 64.55 kg, while the lowest total yield, 41.79 kg, was obtained with Deglet Noor pollen. Total soluble solids, bunch weight, and seed diameter did not show significant variation. The best pollenizers for the Medjool cultivar in terms of fruit set and quality characteristics are the Zahidi and Khadrawy varieties. This study allowed for the identification of fruit characteristics according to the pollenizer used. These results can be used to strategically reach high yields in Medjool date cultivar.

Keywords: Date palm, Phoenix dactylifera L., Medjool, metaxenia, pollination, fruit characteristics

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