Location: Sunflower and Plant Biology ResearchTitle: Updates on sunflower pollinator research: understanding interactions of plant phenotype, environment, and pollinator identity
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2019
Publication Date: 1/3/2020
Citation: Ferguson, B., Hulke, B.S., Prasifka, J.R. 2020. Updates on sunflower pollinator research: understanding interactions of plant phenotype, environment, and pollinator identity [abstract]. National Sunflower Association Research Forum. 90:19.
Technical Abstract: Prior research shows that cultivated sunflowers, while capable of some self-pollination, still rely on bees for consistent high yields. It is also clear that plant phenotype related to floral rewards (= access to nectar, amounts of nectar or pollen available) influences the number of bees that visit a given inbred or hybrid. Updates are provided on several projects related to improving sunflower pollination, including (1) data on variation and heritability of nectar quantity, (2) response of honey bees to lines that vary in floret size, and (3) trials with native, wild bees that evaluate effects of floret size, nectar quantity, and planting date. While some aspects of how sunflowers, bees and the surrounding environment interact are not yet understood, cost-effective tools are becoming available to improve crop pollination