Navigation Links
Flight of the bumble (and honey) bee
Date:3/20/2009

CARBONDALE, ILInsects such as honeybees and bumble bees are predictable in the way they move among flowers, typically moving directly from one flower to an adjacent cluster of flowers in the same row of plants. The bees' flight paths have a direct affect on their ability to hunt for pollen and generate "gene flow", fertilization and seed production that results when pollen moves from one plant to another. The study of gene flow has experienced more attention in part due to the recent introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into the environment.

Scientists, plant breeders, and growers seek to understand flight patterns of honeybees, bumble bees, and other insect "pollinators" as a way to increase production and healthy produce. Although several studies have focused on pollen movement among cucurbits, the plant family that includes cucumbers, gourds, melons, or pumpkins, little research has looked at pollinator flight patterns and, until recently, none has determined pollen flow in watermelon plantings.

New research published in the February 2009 issue of HortScience by research scientists S. Alan Walters of Southern Illinois University and Jonathan R. Schultheis of North Carolina State University studied pollinator movements down and across rows in watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.)] by tracking pollen flow. The direction of honeybees was tracked under field conditions during 2001 and 2002 at the Southern Illinois University Horticultural Research Center in Carbondale.

According to Walters, the study indicated that the evaluation of pollen flow showed a definite pattern of bee movement and gene migration in watermelon. "Although we detected pollinator movement that was strongly directional in both directions (east and west) down the row from the central block of donor plants, results also indicate that significant movement also occurred across rows in both directions (north and south) from the donor plot", he remarked.

Because watermelon vines grow in multiple directions, including across rows, bees can easily move across rows if the next closest flower is in that direction instead of down the row. Most pollen is deposited on the nearest neighboring flower from where pollen was collected.

Walters summarized the study stating, "Although significant amounts of linear pollinator movements occur down rows of watermelon plants, pollinator movements (in watermelon) are not as simple as just maintaining a linear direction straight down the row, but are related to the short flight distances that most likely occur to the closest neighboring flower from the one that was previously visited."


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. The medium is the message: Manipulating salmonella in spaceflight curtails infectiousness
2. Promptu and OAG Team to Deliver Flight Schedule and Status Information on Mobile Devices
3. New research challenges long-held assumptions of flightless bird evolution
4. Clovis-age overkill didnt take out Californias flightless sea duck
5. Spaceflight shown to alter ability of bacteria to cause disease
6. Bumblebees learn the sweet smell of foraging success
7. Wasps and bumble bees heat up, fly faster with protein-rich food
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2016)... March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. ... "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our ... in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures ... created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured ... the DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... with passcodes for superior security   ... leading provider of secure digital communications services, today announced ... technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the ... recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... March 15, 2016 Yissum Research Development ... technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today the ... sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies ... million from private investors. ... the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/19/2016)... 2016 Regen BioPharma, ... RGBPP) announced today initiation of a preclinical development ... based cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging its NR2F6 immunological ... a generation of cord blood derived killer cells ...  The product in development will be a "universal ...
(Date:5/18/2016)... ON (PRWEB) , ... May 18, 2016 , ... STACS ... DNA laboratories to easily track and report sexual assault kit processing to help them ... of attention as pressure escalates for kits to be processed and victims informed of ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... ... May 17, 2016 , ... ... waste reduction applications, announced today it will be showcasing ManureMagicâ„¢ at booth V1061 ... was featured in the Wall Street Journal last year and more recently made ...
(Date:5/17/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... May 17, 2016 , ... ... link between kidney and bladder cancer and mesothelioma in families. Surviving Mesothelioma has just ... , Although people with a family member with bladder or kidney cancer seem ...
Breaking Biology Technology: