Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » Plant Introduction Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #209035

Title: Protocols to determine pollination requirements and optimal pollinators for plant genetic resource regeneration

item Widrlechner, Mark

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2007
Publication Date: 6/24/2007
Citation: Widrlechner, M.P., Richards, K.W. 2007. Protocols to determine pollination requirements and optimal pollinators for plant genetic resource regeneration. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Pollination Symposium on Plant-Pollinator Relationships - Diversity in Action. p. 58-59.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Guidelines have been established for the maintenance of plant genetic resource collections, including seed regeneration. When carefully conducted, regeneration is a key tool in germplasm conservation, helping reduce the negative effects of genetic erosion. However, inadequate knowledge of basic pollination requirements can delay or undermine the regeneration process, threatening the genetic integrity of germplasm samples. The diverse array of plants crucial for global food security and variation within those species create serious challenges in developing realistic regeneration protocols to ensure the production of sufficient quantities and quality of seed. Fortunately, comparative studies within and among plant species provide valuable insights into the variability of reproductive systems and of plant-pollinator interactions. In addition, outcrossing rates generally show close relationships to breeding system, floral size, temporal separation of anther dehiscence and stigma receptivity, and the physical arrangement of the stigmas and anthers within flowers. Ensuring adequate isolation from pollen exchange among accessions is also an essential step in maintaining genetic integrity. Screened cages with specially designed domiciles for bees and/or flies are commonly used to regenerate several insect-pollinated crops. Another effective alternative is the use of purpose-built pollen-proof glass or polyethylene houses, but these are costly to operate and maintain. We will review past research to develop efficient protocols to manage insect pollinators under controlled conditions and outline experimental methods that capture critical data to support the selection of the most efficient and cost-effective regeneration systems.