14 December 2012

Male sterility in carrots - some photos

I've got a few pictures of carrot flowers showing the differences between normal and male sterile flower heads.

This is the flowering carrot patch.

 Here's a normal flower head or umbel. The emergent male stamens can be seen like a 'fuzz' over the top of the umbel.


This plant with coloured flowers doesn't appear to have any stamens.

This plant with coloured flowers has coloured stamens.


One problem with spotting CMS is the development stage of the flowers needs to be right to be able to see the stamens. In addition, production of pollen isn't really obvious.In tomatoes for example, pollen production is pretty easy to see, but in carrots, even in plants that I know are male fertile I can't really see pollen at all.

Here's hoping CMS, in my carrots at least, is indicated by the absence of stamens.


  1. I just hate CMS. That's why I put in the carrot trial.

    1. Holly,
      I've been trying to think of a use for them, since half my crop of seeds is male sterile. They will be by definition hybrids, and I could use it to determine some of the dominant/recessive inheritance pathways of characteristics like roundness, core colour, and tuber colour. Haven't chucked them out yet.