Reproductive biology in Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del., a semi-arid forest tree
AbstractBalanites aegyptiaca (L.) is an important tree in the semi-arid ecosystem with beneficial attributes. However, very little information is available in its reproductive biology. In order to better control the reproduction system of B. aegyptiaca, three experimental approaches are used: floral morpholgy, fluorochromatic procedure and hand pollination. The floral morphology shows that B. aegyptiaca flowers are hermaphrodite and gathered in several types of inflorescence (clusters, fascicles or glomerules). They blossomed asynchronically and nectar is exuded by the flowers. Top ovary holds five anatropous ovules. The second approach consisting in fluorochromatic procedure reveals a pollen with 3 apertures and a viability rate of 92%. This viability decrease down to 50% after a storage at -5°C for 7 days. Finally, the hand pollination proves that B. aegyptiaca is a partially auto-compatible plant and the main vectors of pollination are Halictidae (Hymenopterae) and Dipterae.
Key Words: Balanites aegyptiaca, fluorochromatic test, pollen, pollination, auto-compatible.
African Journal of Biotechnology Vol.3(1) 2004: 30-46