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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: IDENTIFICATION OF PLANT GENETIC MECHANISMS THAT INFLUENCE INSECT-POLLINATOR PREFERENCE Title: The Role of Crop/pollinator Relationship in Breeding for Pollinator Friendly Legume Varieties:from a Breeding Perspective

item Palmer, Reid
item Perez, P - ISU
item Maalouf, F - ICARDA
item Suso, M - CSIC

Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 27, 2009
Publication Date: May 21, 2009
Citation: Palmer, R.G., Perez, P.T., Ortiz-Perez, E., Maalouf, F., Suso, M.J. 2009. The Role of Crop-Pollinator Relationships in Breeding for Pollinator-Friendly Legumes:From a Breeding Perspective. Euphytica. 170:35-52.

Interpretive Summary: Few legumes have been studied in detail in regards to variation in reproductive biology. Even fewer examples are available on the interaction of insect pollinators to produce hybrid seed. The area of crop-pollinator relationships, especially legumes is a topic of concern world-wide. Information is presented about plant characteristics that contribute to and enhance crop-pollinator relationships. Additional information is given on soybean and the efforts to use insect-mediated cross-pollination to produce hybrid seed. The second example is faba bean, where knowledge of plant characteristics is being used by breeders for open-pollinated population improvement. Knowledge about crop-pollinator relationships will help in breeding legumes for increased yield and environmental stability.

Technical Abstract: Breeders are encouraged to develop breeding approaches that strive to integrate food production into the healthy functioning of agro-ecosystems. In the case of legumes, this approach should preserve bee fauna by providing suitable floral resources within the crops themselves. In parallel, legume breeding for sustainable agriculture is linked to the development of environmental services. Foraging places and nesting sites for solitary and social bees are some of the ecological services provided for legumes. Crops with floral attractiveness and rewards for insects can be used to enhance pollinator conservation as well as crop yield and yield stability. We analyze how understanding crop-pollinator relationships (CPR) can contribute to the production of high-yielding and pollinator-friendly varieties by examining: 1) The status of knowledge on mating systems and floral traits; and 2) The contribution of CPR understanding to plant breeding for both: hybrid-seed production and open-pollinated population improvement.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015