A field experiment was conducted during 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 to study the effect of foliar sprays of ethrel or ethephon (2- chloroethyl phosphonic acid) on pollen sterility and yield parameters in Capsicum annuum var. Pusa jwala. Effect of treatments was also studied in F1 hybrids raised from treated male sterile plants crossed with the control... plants. Plants sprayed with 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3% (v/v) ethrel exhibited 93.1-100% pollen sterility. This was associated with significant reduction in yield parameters (number of flowers, fruits/plant, fruit size, number of seeds/fruit and total yield/plant). However, the plants sprayed only once with 0.1% ethrel at pre-meiotic stage showed 93.1% pollen sterility without any significant reduction in yield parameter. The F1 hybrids obtained by crossing the 100% male sterile treated plants with the pollen of untreated (control) plants exhibited only insignificant reduction in the number of flowers/ plant, fruits/plant, fruit size, number of seeds/fruit and total yield/plant. However, these parameters in F1 hybrids were significantly higher over the treated plants.
Efficacy of a popular synthetic detergent, Surf excel in some important vegetable crops viz. Okra or lady finger (Abelmoschus esculentus L.), chilli or red pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill) was evaluated for inducing male sterility and hybrid seed production. Foliar sprays with aqueous solutions of Surf excel (1....0 and 1.5% w/v) in these crops induced complete pollen sterility. The treated plants showed a delay in flowering, a reduction in the number of flowers and fruits/plant, number of seeds/fruit resulting in a reduction in yield/plant. However, the male sterility thus induced was successfully exploited for hybrid seed production.