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Research Note: Bird-Resistant Pollination Bags for Sorghum Breeding and Germplasm Maintenance

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Author(s): Dennis C. Gitz III | Jeffrey T. Baker | Zhanguo Xin | Robert J. Lascano | John J. Burke | Sara E. Duke

Journal: American Journal of Plant Sciences
ISSN 2158-2742

Volume: 04;
Issue: 03;
Start page: 571;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Sorghum | Breeding | Pollination Bags | Bird Damage

ABSTRACT
Bird damage is a problem in sorghum breeding and germplasm maintenance operations. Paper pollination bags are damaged by rain and provide only a minimal deterrent to birds. To overcome these limitations we fabricated pollination bags from spun polyethylene fiber sheeting. No seed yield difference was found between plants bagged with either spun polyethylene or paper. Seed loss by bird damage was nearly eliminated under the polyethylene bags. In areas where bird damage is problematic bird resistant pollination bags can allow for a reduction in the plot size required for breeding and germplasm maintenance operations, increase the productivity of such operations as genetic diversity per unit land area, and make direct measurement of seed yield possible in agronomic field experiments.
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