Cross-Pollination Studies Involving Three Purple-Flowered Alfalfas, One White-Flowered Line, and Two Pollinator Species1
- M. W. Pedersen2
White-flowered alfalfa was equal to colored-flowered alfalfa in attracting nectar-collecting honeybees, but less attractive for pollen-collecting leaf-cutting bees. Comparisons of white- and colored-flowered alfalfa for percentage of stainable pollen, nectar sugar per flower, and pollen extrusion were not significantly different. Cross-pollination was higher for honey bees than leaf-cutting bees (45.4%:41.2%), but seed production was higher for leaf-cutting bees (315 g:265 g). Cross-pollination but not seed yield was affected by the bee by variety interaction. This highly significant interaction occurred because cross-pollination of white-flowered alfalfa paired with ‘Uinta’ alfalfa pollinated by leaf-cutting bees was low, but high when pollinated by honey bees. The percentage of crossing on spaced white-flowered alfalfa plants as determined by colored hypocotyls was 54.9, with a standard error of 1.8. This compares with a value of 74.4% for hand-crossed seed without emasculation.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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