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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #285876

Title: Bird-resistant pollination bags for sorghum breeding and germplasm maintenance

item Gitz, Dennis
item Baker, Jeffrey
item Xin, Zhanguo
item Lascano, Robert
item Burke, John
item Duke, Sara

Submitted to: American Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2013
Publication Date: 3/26/2013
Citation: Gitz, D.C., Baker, J.T., Xin, Z., Lascano, R.J., Burke, J.J., Duke, S.E. 2013. Bird-resistant pollination bags for sorghum breeding and germplasm maintenance. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 4(4):571-574.

Interpretive Summary: Birds love sorghum. In fact is a component of commercial bird seeds. When scientists breed sorghum they have thousands upon thousands of types of sorghum. One of these plants might hold answers to insuring our food or energy supply. So, each sorghum seed is very precious to breeders. In this article we describe a simple effective way to protect sorghum seeds from birds in breeding operations.

Technical Abstract: Bird damage is a problem in sorghum breeding and germplasm maintenance operations. Paper pollination bags are damaged by rain and provide minimal deterrent to birds. To overcome these limitations we fabricated pollination bags from spun polyethylene fiber sheeting. Seed loss by bird damage was eliminated under these bags. Elimination of seed loss to birds may allow reduction of plot size required for breeding and germplasm maintenance operations, increase the productivity as genetic diversity per unit land area, and ease direct measurement of seed yield in field experiments.