Microspore nuclear stages of the Elaeis species and their OxG hybrid were examined and correlated with the respective male inflorescence morphology. Isolated pollen mother cells (PMC) and microspores obtained from squashed male flower buds were stained with blue fluorescent 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) dye and observed with the Zeiss Axioplan epifluorescent microscope to determine their nuclear stages. The male inflorescence from both the Elaeis species and the (OxG) hybrid with a perfectly closed spathe, having whitish inflorescences and friable individual spikelets indicated that PMC activities were ongoing within the anthers of male flower buds. In E. guineensis, the whitish, pale yellow or light green spikelets with flexible texture obtained from a perfectly closed spathe appeared to be morphological markers for uninucleate microspores. For E. oleifera inflorescences, the colour varies from pale beige to umber brown with flexible spikelets, while the spathe varied from being perfectly closed to slightly open. The observed morphology indicated the presence of uninucleate microspores in E. oleifera. For the OxG hybrid morphological markers resembled that of E. oleifera. By staining a plethora of male flower buds from various oil palm male inflorescences, the meiosis and mitosis phases were also profiled.
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board, 6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia. E-mail: email@example.com
** Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia.
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