Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/5/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Grass and legume seed production is critical in maintaining high quality forage worldwide. There are many factors, beginning at flowering to the time that seeds develop and mature, that will influence final seed yield of a grass or legume crop. Plant genetic composition and environmental factors can greatly enhance or degrade this outcome. Scientific knowledge in this area of plant reproduction is often limited with respect to temperate grasses and legumes. In this chapter, the intent was to present information on the pollination and fertilization of grasses and legumes, and the pollinating mechanisms that permit successful seed production in these species.
Technical Abstract: There are many important sequences of events, from inflorescence development to seed physiological maturity, which have a significant bearing on the outcome of the final seed harvest. At each stage or sequence, genetic and environmental factors can degrade or enhance this outcome. Some events are more sensitive to these factors than others. In many respects, our knowledge of these factors and the mechanisms by which they exert their influence in forages are poorly understood. Many aspects of the floral biology of temperate grasses and legumes have been extensively reported elsewhere (Cleveland, 1985; Thomas, 1987; Owens, 1992). In this chapter, our intent is to present information on the pollination and fertilization of grasses and legumes, and the pollinating mechanisms that permit successful seed production in these species.