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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Pollinating Efficacy of Osmia Cornifrons and Osmia Lignaria (Hymenopter: Megachilidae) on Three Brassicacae Spp. Grown under Field Cages

Authors
item Abel, Craig
item Wilson, Richard
item Luhman, R - USDA-ARS, NCRPIS

Submitted to: Journal of Kansas Entomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 18, 2003
Publication Date: December 30, 2003
Citation: Abel, C.A., Wilson, R.L., Luhman, R.L. 2003. Pollinating efficacy of osmia cornifrons and osmia lignaria (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) on three Brassicacae spp. grown under field cages. Journal of Kansas Entomological Society. 38: 545-552.

Interpretive Summary: The USDA, Agricultural Research Service's, North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS), Ames, IA, is one of four regional sites of the United States National Plant Germplasm System. The NCRPIS contains the active collection of edible oilseed Brassica (canola). An important aspect of managing this germplasm collection is to regenerate seed in the field by ycontrolling pollination to preserve the genetic integrity of the collections. Honeybees confined to field cages have been used for this purpose but they are expensive to maintain and may not be the best pollinator for the crop. Since 1998, NCRPIS has been using a solitary bee, Osmia cornifrons, that is native to Japan, to pollinate the crop in field cages; however, a native bee species, Osmia lignaria lignaria has been out competing O. cornifrons for artificial nesting sites that are erected to rear the bee each year in central Iowa. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of these two solitary bee species for increasing canola seed production in field cages. There was no difference in seed production for two accessions of O. lignaria lignaria and O. cornifrons pollinated canola. However, there was significantly more seed produced from two other O. lignaria lignaria pollinated accessions of canola when compared to seed produced in O. cornifrons pollinated cages. The results indicate that Osmia lignaria lignaria is equally effective or more effective for field cage pollination of canola. Because the native bee is easier to rear and maintain, it will be the pollinator of choice for control pollinating the canola collection at NCRPIS in field cages.

Technical Abstract: The North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS), Ames, IA is one of four regional sites of the United States National Plant Germplasm System. The active germplasm collection of oilseed Brassicaceae is maintained by NCRPIS and the majority of the collection is made up of two species, Brassica rapa L. and Brassica napus L. These two species are used dprimarily for the edible oil (canola) market. White mustard, Sinapis alba L., is also an oilseed species that is maintained by NCRPIS. Until 1998 at NCRPIS, honeybees have been used to pollinate Brassicaceae grown in field cages. A solitary bee, Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski), has since been used to pollinate the crop in field cages; however, a native bee species, Osmia lignaria lignaria Say, out competes O. cornifrons for artificial nesting sites that are erected to rear the bee each year in central Iowa. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of these two solitary bee species for increasing B. napus, B. rapa, and S. alba seed produced in field cages. There was no difference in production for the O. lignaria lignaria and O. cornifrons pollinated S. alba accession, PI 209022, and the B. rapa accession, PI 278766. But, there was significantly more seed produced from the O. lignaria lignaria pollinated B. rapa accession, PI 392025, and the B. napus accession, PI 469944, when compared with seed produced in O. cornifrons pollinated cages.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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