Spray cut chrysanthemum is a vital flower with high ornamental value and popularity in the world. However, the excessive quantity of pollen dispersal of most spray cut chrysanthemum is an adverse factor during its flowering stage, and can significantly reduce its ornamental value and quickly shorten its vase life. More seriously, excessive pollen grains in the air are usually harmful to people, especially for those with pollen allergies. Therefore, in order to obtain some valuable information for developing spray cut chrysanthemum with less-dispersed or non-dispersed pollen in the future breeding programs, we here investigated the factors affecting quantity of pollen dispersal of spray cut chrysanthemum with four cultivars, i.e. ‘Qx-097’, ‘Noa’, ‘Qx-115’, and ‘Kingfisher’, that have different quantity of pollen dispersal.
‘Qx-097’ with high quantity of pollen dispersal has 819 pollen grains per anther, 196.4 disk florets per inflorescence and over 800,000 pollen grains per inflorescence. The corresponding data for ‘Noa’ with low quantity of pollen dispersal are 406, 175.4 and over 350,000, respectively; and 219, 144.2 and nearly 160,000 for ‘Qx-115’ without pollen dispersal, respectively. ‘Kingfisher’ without pollen dispersal has 202.8 disk florets per inflorescence, but its anther has no pollen grains. In addition, ‘Qx-097’ has a very high degree of anther cracking that nearly causes a complete dispersal of pollen grains from its anthers. ‘Noa’ has a moderate degree of anther cracking, and pollen grains in its anthers are not completely dispersed. However, the anthers of ‘Qx-115’ and ‘Kingfisher’ do not crack at all. Furthermore, microsporogenesis and pollen development are normal in ‘Qx-097’, whereas many microspores or pollen degenerate in ‘Noa’, most of them abort in ‘Qx-115’, and all of them degrade in ‘Kingfisher’.
These results suggest that quantity of pollen dispersal in spray cut chrysanthemum are mainly determined by pollen quantity per anther, and capacity of pollen dispersal. Abnormality during microsporogenesis and pollen development significantly affects pollen quantity per anther. Capacity of pollen dispersal is closely related to the degree of anther dehiscence. The entire degeneration of microspore or pollen, or the complete failure of anther dehiscence can cause the complete failure of pollen dispersal.