Seed-set evaluation of four male-sterile, female-fertile soybean lines using alfalfa leafcutting bees and honey bees as pollinators

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Ortiz-Perez, E.
Mian, R. M.
Cooper, R. L.
Mendiola, T.
Tew, T.
Hanlin, S. J.
Palmer, R. G.
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Horner, Harry
University Professor Emeritus
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The Department of Agronomy seeks to teach the study of the farm-field, its crops, and its science and management. It originally consisted of three sub-departments to do this: Soils, Farm-Crops, and Agricultural Engineering (which became its own department in 1907). Today, the department teaches crop sciences and breeding, soil sciences, meteorology, agroecology, and biotechnology.

The Department of Agronomy was formed in 1902. From 1917 to 1935 it was known as the Department of Farm Crops and Soils.

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  • Department of Farm Crops and Soils (1917–1935)

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North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station
The North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station manages and provides plant genetic resources and associated information. As a result of working at the station, student employees should improve their professional skills related to communications, ethics, leadership, problem solving, technical agronomy, international awareness, and an appreciation of diversity.
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Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology seeks to teach subcellular and cellular processes, genome dynamics, cell structure and function, and molecular mechanisms of development, in so doing offering a Major in Biology and a Major in Genetics.

The Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology was founded in 2005.

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Male-sterile, female-fertile plants were used to produce hybrid soybean seed. Manual cross-pollination using male-sterile plants to produce large quantities of hybrid seed is difficult and time-consuming because of the low success rate in cross-pollination. Insect pollinators may be suitable vectors to transfer pollen, but the most suitable vector for pollen transfer from the male parent to the female parent has not been identified for soybean. The objective of the present study was to evaluate seed-set on four male-sterile, female-fertile soybean lines by using alfalfa leafcutting bees (Megachile rotundata (F.)) and honey bees (Apis mellifera (L.)) as pollinators. Seed-set was evaluated in summers 2003 and 2005 near Ames, Iowa, USA and in summers 2003, 2004, and 2005 near Wooster, Ohio, USA. Neither the effect of pollinator species nor the interaction effect of pollinator species×location was significant for any year. Honey bees performed similarly to alfalfa leafcutting bees at both locations. The results indicated significant differences for seed-set among male-sterile lines, suggesting preferential pollination. Male-sterile lines, ms1(Urbana) and ms2 (Ames 2), had higher cross-pollinated seed-set compared to ms6 (Ames 1), and ms6 (Corsoy 79). At the Ames location, ms1ms1 (Urbana) plants had the highest seed-set (50·16 seeds per male-sterile plant in 2005). At the Wooster location, ms1ms1 (Urbana) plants also had the highest seed-set (92·04 seeds per male-sterile plant) in 2005. Costs and local conditions need to be addressed to support the choice of either pollinator species as a pollination vector to produce hybrid soybean seed.


This article is from Journal of Agricultural Science 146 (2008); 461, doi: 10.1017/S002185960700768X.