Assessment of the reproductive system of Isatis tinctoria L.
Isatis tinctoria L. (woad) is a dye plant whose cultivation is increasing because of its adaptability to marginal conditions and increasing demand for natural products. Suitable breeding schemes need to be set up in order to obtain woad varieties for each proposed environment. Presently, no data about the reproductive system are available. The effects of selfing and crossing on setting and progeny vigour were assessed. Results showed the existence of an outcrossing system in I. tinctoria. Obligate self-pollinated plants produced fewer siliques (7.1 g per plant) with lower weight (6.0 mg) and lower seed germinability (8.2%) than outcrossing plants (44.1 g, 8.0 mg and 46.0% for each character, respectively). Self-pollinated progenies also generally showed lower vigour than outcrossing progenies.