The influence of nectar sugar production on insect visitors to flowers of Brassica rapa L.
Peer Reviewed StatusNon-Peer Reviewed
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The purpose of this study was to determine if differing amounts of floral nectar sugar could affect the insect pollination of Brassica rapa L., a self-incompatible species. This knowledge could be directly applicable to crop-breeding programs interested in maintaining or enhancing the attractiveness of flowers to nectar-foraging visitors (possible pollinators). Several lines of rapid-cycling B. rapa were assayed (microcapillary nectar collection plus refractometry) for floral nectar-sugar production, and seed increases were made from plants selected on that basis. Both high and low nectar-producing plants were crossed reciprocally (high by high and low by low) in attempts to establish progenies distinct from each other. It appeared that reliably high and low nectar-yielding lines could be established. Outdoor insect visitation trials using high, intermediate, and low nectar-yielding lines of rapid-cycling plants of B. rapa in small plots resulted in more insects (especially flies and bees) visiting the high nectar-producing line, which in turn produced more seeds per silique.
Part OfSoils and Crops Workshop
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