What is the difference between parthenocarpic and bee pollinated hybrids of cucumber?
Recently, on packages of seeds you can increasingly find the inscription - "parthenocarpic hybrid"? What does she mean? What is the difference between bee pollinated and parthenocarpic varieties and hybrids?
On plants of bee pollinated varieties and hybrids, male and female flowers are always present. For the formation of greenery, it is necessary that pollen from male flowers fall on female flowers. In nature, bees, bumblebees and other insects help us with this. For those who like to grow bee pollinating varieties and hybrids of cucumber, we recommend sowing and planting them not in greenhouses, but in open ground. If, due to weather conditions, flight of insects is impossible, and female flowers are formed, then due to the lack of pollination, the ovaries will turn yellow and fall off. The bee-pollinated hybrids of cucumber Perseus F1, Dasha F1, Diana F1, Aristocrat F1 form a large number of female flowers, which makes them simply irreplaceable in the infield, when growing cucumber in the open ground.
Parthenocarpy (from the Greek Parthenos - “virgin” and karpos - fruit; literally “virgin fruit”) - a special case of parthenogenesis, virgin fertilization without pollination in plants, usually with the formation of fruits without seeds. The fruits that are formed during parthenocarpy are either seedless or contain “empty” seeds without seeds. There are two types of natural parthenocarpy. In the first case, the pollination process is completely absent; in the second, the cause of the formation of the fetus is irritation of the stigma of the flower with its own or another's pollen.
The ability to parthenocarpic fruit formation in cucumber plants is due to the genetics of the variety and / or hybrid. Parthenocarpy in cucumber plants is complete when all the flowers give seedless fruits, or partial. By the manifestation of this trait, varieties and hybrids are divided into several groups: with a weak, medium, and highly pronounced parthenocarpy. Moreover, the nature of the inheritance of parthenocarpy in cucumber plants is complex and largely depends on growing conditions. The study of the influence of temperature, day length, and light intensity on the parthenocarpy showed that the optimal temperature regime for the best setting of cucumber fruits is to maintain the temperature during the day at 23 ° C and at night at 17 ° C.
Due to the unique property of tying fruits without pollination, parthenocarpic hybrids are in great demand among the population and producers of cucumber, as they are better suited for cultivation in adverse climatic and seasonal (weather) conditions. They are also recommended to be planted in greenhouses and film shelters, where the tying of greenhouses does not depend on pollinating insects. Therefore, the early cultivation of hybrids Bastion F1, Ladies' man of F1 and the Emerald placer F1 with a pronounced parthenocarpy and the ability to form more than 3–6 ovaries in the nodes, allows to obtain high yields regardless of adverse growing conditions. Partenocarpic salad hybrids Crispy slice F1 and Crystal F1 have juicy and sweet pulp without seeds.
There is a popular belief that parthenocarpic hybrids cannot be used for homework. Currently, the breeders of the Agroholding “SEARCH” have created a number of universal hybrids, the fruits of which are intended both for fresh consumption and for pickling and pickling: Athos F1, Ladies' Saucer F1, Styliaga F1, Fast and Furious F1.
Advantages of parthenocarpic cucumber hybrids:
- stably yield regardless of the presence of pollinating insects and weather conditions unfavorable for the growth and development of cucumber plants;
- fruits without seeds and without bitterness;
- Zelentsy are the same size, color and aligned in shape;
- they can be grown both in open ground and in greenhouses, hotbeds and on balconies;
- long retain their attractive appearance, density, juiciness and taste;
- have friendly continuous fruiting;
- most have a bunch of ovaries in a knot, which is the key to a high yield;
- resistant to the most common diseases of cucumber plants.
Author: Lyubov Chistyakova - candidate of agricultural sciences, breeder of Agroholding “SEARCH” for cucumber.