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Polyembryonic Seedlings Separation : Monoembryonic vs. Polyembryonic Mango Seeds

Know the difference between monoembryonic and polyembryonic mango seed and how to separate polyembryonic mango seedlings.
There are two types of mango seeds, mono-embryonic and polyembryonic types.What is the difference between the two mango seed types?

Monoembryonic vs. Polyembryonic Mango Seed types



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The mango tree from mono-embryonic seed will take more than 10 years to fruit, but the polyembryonic seed mango trees are capable of fruiting in as little as two years from seed.

Monoembryonic mangoes have seeds with a single embryo while the Polyembryonic mangoes have more than one embryos. By simply looking at the seed, you can not tell the type of the seed. In some cases, the monoembryonic seed will be thinner than the polyembryonic type. Also you can not convert monoembryonic seed type into a polyembryonic variety.

Picture of Monoembryonic and Polyembryonic mango Seed
MMonoembryonic and Polyembryonic Mango Seeds

The Monoembryonic Mango Seed

  1. The monoembryonic type seed will produce only one seedling as there is a single embryo  which is the result of cross-pollination.
  2. Mangoes from India are mostly monoembryonic.
  3. The tree will fruit in more than 10 years.
  4. The fruits usually differ from the parent tree in appearance, quality and taste, but in general, fruits are highly colorful.
  5. The tree is more susceptible to anthracnose fungal disease. which developes black spots on leaves and fruits.

The Polyembryonic Mango Seed

The polyembryonic mango seed has more than one embryos, may be up to 20 embryos, so produce many identical seedlings. Only one originates from fertilization which is not a true clone of the parent seed. The fertilized seedling is generally weak.
  1. All the polyembryonic mango seedlings are identical and produce identical mango trees. So it is possible to get many mango trees from a single polyembryonic seed.
  2. The tree produces fruits in a few years, 2-5 years. 
  3. The fruits are similar to parent tree. 
  4. The trees are resistant to anthracnose disease.
A polyembryonic seed contains multiple embryos, so produces more than one shoot, actually several shoots depending on the number of embryos. Only one of the shoots originates from fertilization which is not a true clone of the parent seed. All the other seedlings are clones of the mother tree. The fertilized seedling is weak and should be discarded.

The fertilized seedling is often weak and stunted and should be discarded. The other seedlings are clones of the mother tree.

How to Plant a Mango Seed

Take a fresh seed from a ripe polyembryonic mango and with a knife cut the husk.
Water and place in sun. The seed will fertilize in a few weeks. You will see multiple shoots from the polyembryonic seed.

How to Separate Polyembryonic Mango Seedlings

Polyembryonic seedlings
Polyembryonic mango seedlings

Since a polyembryonic mango seed produces more than one seedlings from a single seed,  it is necessary to separate all the seedling. But the simple question arises, why you should separate the polyembryonic seedlings? If you do not separate the seedlings, then all the seedlings will be growing at the same place in the pot or garden bed. It means that you sre growing many trees at close to each other, and all will be competing against each other. In the process, not a single tree will grow properly.

When to Separate the Seedlings?

Generally, for most plants, the seedlings should be separated when second set of leaves in each seedlings are developed. I usually allow the seedlings to grow for some time so that the roots become somewhat stronger. But excessively overdeveloped roots may cause damage during seedlings separation. However, if you want only one plant, then simply pinch or snip off the excess seedlings, leaving the remaining one in place.

Polyembryonic seedlings separation
Polyembryonic seedlings separation

Which Seedling Do I Keep On A Polyembryonic Mango

The polyembryonic seed produces many shoots, all identical and clones of the mother tree, except one which originates from fertilization which is not a true clone of the parent seed. 

Now the main question, which seedling you should discard and which to to be transplanted. Out of all the seedlings, only will be weak or different - its leaves may be different in color or shape or smell. You should discard this seedling when you separate them and transplant.

Now how do you separate seedlings without killing them?

  1. Tap or press the pot on all the sides to loosen the soil and invert the pot on your hand and take out the seedlings. 
  2. Do not pull with stems to avoid any damage to the seedlings.
  3. Now gently untangle the roots from each other and separate without any harm to the seedlings.
  4. Plant each seedling into separate pots. Water well and feed seaweed solution to help plants to overcome transplant shock.

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