Pollen germination patent

Title: Increase of blossom germination using a pollen-ferrous gluconate mixture for pollenization.

Authors: Woods, Verle W.; Turney, Wellman D. (Woods Industries, Inc.). U.S. (1968), 2 pp.

Patent No. Kind Date Application No. Date

US 3396008 A 19680806 US 1964-352361 19640316

Priority Application

US 1964-352361 19640316

Abstract: “Pollen tubes grow on the stigma at a rate faster than normal when 200 mg. of finely ground ferrous gluconate is added to a fluid oz. of pollen anthers. The pollen anthers may be applied directly to the blossoms by manual application, spraying or dusting, or by bees or the anthers may have been previously removed from the pollen by screening and the pollen is then mixed with a carrier substance such as talc or powd. walnut shells to make up the lost vol. The Fe(C6H11O7)2.2H2O is utilized by the live pollen as food after being deposited on the blossom stigma. The additive is digested by the pollen, causing a more rapid growth. The av. pollen germination rate of 50% is increased to about 75% by the use of the additive. The life of the pollen is extended beyond its usual life and pollen that might otherwise be discarded can be revitalized for orchard application.”

Since this is pollination time, I decided to move this message to the top with the hope that some of you will try this method.

Very interesting Henry. I’m not sure I know what ferrous gluconate is or how to apply it but I’m always willing to try new things. Where do you get the Ferrous gluconate? It sounds like it’s a powder. You mix it with the raw anthers and then place the anthers on the stigma, or do you wait until after the anther mix sheds the pollen and then apply the pollen? Have you personally tried it or is this from a reseach article? Sounds like something worth trying. Has there been any follow up experiance with germination rates of seeds from hips pollinated this way?

John, I have not started pollinating this season yet. I am going to try it. I purchased the Ferrous Gluconate in a health food store in Gelatin capsules which open very easily.

I plan on mixing it with the shed pollen.

This winter I did try soaking some seeds in a Ferrous Gluconate solution (I forget the time, probably 8 hours). The seeds turned black and none have germinated. A control group of the same batch of seeds has had a lot of germinations.

Thanks Henry for the update. I’m going to look for the Ferrous Gluconate and I’ll try some crosses too. Maybe we can compare note later in the season on how well it worked for each of us.

Report on using Ferrous Gluconate during the summer of 2004.

I started to use Ferrous Gluconate on almost all of my early pollinations. I then stopped as I noticed a number of the hips had aborted. For the rest of the summer I did not use it. However, now that I am going through my successful pollinations, I am finding a greater than stastically expected number of successful pollinations that had the ferrous gluconate mixed in (I marked it on the 2 inch by 2 inch plastic zip lock bags that I cover the pollinated hips with).

Definitely, in cases of sterile crosses the addition of ferrous gluconate did not help; but in others it definitely did not seem to hurt and did seem to help.

Any other reports?

Here is a fuller description of the science that went into the patent:


Link: www.google.com/patents?id=IKVTAAAAEBAJ&dq=patent+woods+turney+germination+blossom&jtp=1#PPP1,M1