Benefits of pollen-attracting plants

Perennials are often planted in permanent rows alongside the crop. For example, a row of related plants in the background attracts pollen to the pumpkins in front. Credit: MA Arnold

Researchers in a variety of fields have combined research, teaching, and extension efforts to address scientific questions about how to increase the yield of pollen grains in some flowering crops.

According to Michael Arnold, a professor of horticulture at the Department of Horticulture, what started as a way to find alternative uses for some of our native wildflowers and to develop those potential commercial crops. Gardens at the University of Texas A and M.

“We wanted to know how these plants attract pollen and support the pollen population. Can wildflowers not only look beautiful, but also attract pollen? Combine crops or fruit crops? ”

John Montoya, a former doctoral student in horticulture, has studied cucumber and habanero pepper to study these and other questions about how various horticultural techniques and growth factors can affect flowering and crop production.

For example, how do you economically secure the allocation of farmland for flowers and ornaments without reducing crop yields? Planting permanent rows of plants alongside crops creates a year-round habitat for pollen and other useful predators. It allows you to take the annual mix in the rows with the crop and not reduce the total area used by the crops. The studies focused on what and how many flowering plants visited plants and identified the season or crop.

Arnold convenes a multidisciplinary disciplinary team from the college to support Montana research:

Horticulture experts – Arnold’s unique jewelry. Larry Stein, PhD, Professor and Associate Director of Texas A&M Agrillif Extension Service Programs at the Department of Vegetation and Fruit Sciences, offers expertise in Texas Crop Growth and Choices.

Anthropologists – Julia Rangel, PhD, Director of the Texas A&M Honey Bee Laboratory and Associate Professor of Beekeeping in the Entoto Department, are experts in pollen, bees and honey bees. She helped develop the experimental design commonly used for pollen studies. Karen Wright, PhD, Associate Superintendent of Texas A&M Insects in the Department of Entomology, specializes in indigenous biology, compensation and identification. She helped researchers and students identify and modify the samples they collected to see the biodiversity or individual pollen that came to each plant.

Agricultural Economists – Marco Palma, PhD, Professor and Director of the Behavioral Laboratory in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Chair of the Hall, PhD, Professor and Ellison have contributed to international floriculture, market vision, assisted with the cost of various medical combinations and all profits. Profitability and Consumer Analysis Survey by assisting students.

“This project was a perfect example of how teachers from different departments in the college can come together to solve fictional questions about different systems and produce something interesting and influential,” Rajel said.

Looking at manufacturing from an economic point of view includes targeted ideas.

Palmma, for his part, said: “We have looked at the cost of using these pollen suppliers to determine if the product of this particular problem is actually related to the increase in production.” We wanted to identify if there were any negative effects on quality and understand that we should be held accountable for any other reasons.

According to research in Montoya, pepper and some pumpkins have increased their annual and annual consumption. In many cases, these compensate for land use for perennial plants: an all-encompassing situation as improved yields can increase profitability. Increasing profits can offset the cost of using compost plants that attract pollen. The ecological benefits associated with an improved pollen environment and food sources will also increase.

Learning: Research results further motivate student-led projects

The information from the Montoya study led to a series of student projects and other questions.

“People from research, teaching and extension communities have come together to promote the success of Dr. Montoya’s project,” Arnold said. He also provided useful information that led us to a series of questions to be answered. That is the general point of science.

The three projects raised by the questions include the following.

– The hybrids of Zenia. Zeninia, often regarded as an effective pollen-attracting, did not produce good results in the Montoya project. Daniel Merrell, a graduate student in horticulture and intomology, studied the Xinnia business.

“At the ultraviolet fluorescent level, the colors, the honeycomb instructions, and the size characteristics, she found interesting features in the flowers,” Rajel said. “She also compares pollen visits to those flowers as to which types of flowers add pollen visits.”

Arnold said the zinc hybrid used in the first research project was selected for resistance to disease and pests. According to Merrell’s study, when exposed to ultraviolet light, the pollen of this hybrid pollen had a more complex pattern than most of the species visited. Her research has identified which species are best for picking pollen. Her paper was found in a peer-reviewed magazine.

– Wildflower selection. Research has also focused on samples of the best domestic plants that attract pollen. Kylene Hopkins, a doctoral student in horticulture, studied Mexican hat or long concolor in Texas. She found him a strong candidate to use pollen grains as an ornamental plant. Palma and Hall were consumer consultants on the project. Brent Pemberton, PhD, a flower gardener at the Verton Texas A&M Agrillif Center, helped evaluate business practice in light of current bedding practices.

Benefits of pollen-attracting plants

Pollen attracts a Mexican hat or long Confilov, Texas wildflower. Credit: MA Arnold

– Containers for cities. Jonathan Kaples, a doctoral candidate in horticulture science, has examined Montoya’s findings in urban areas. To do this, it has modular units of different sizes for the balcony, porch or backyard layout. Some of the previously assembled units include a combination of plants and flowering plants, while others are designed to be purchased by individuals for individual projects. The largest room is a 4 foot by 4 foot high garden. It is the smallest 10 gallon container suitable for a backyard or balcony.

Fruits and vegetables bloom at the same time as pollen-loving plants, combining pollen and pollen-loving plants with a variety of winter and summer plants. It also works with surveys to determine consumer preferences, such as choosing a particular crop or ornament and what they are willing to pay. Can the agricultural industry produce such products and sell them at a profit?

“It is easier than ever to grow what we love and then try to find a market for it,” says Palma. To meet this demand, it is important to know what the drivers of interest are in order to better adapt our production practices and everything else.

Capples will continue to test the potential of these modular units in urban areas and verify their potential for pollen-medium production.

Undergraduate staff and student volunteers involved in these projects learned about conspiracy theories and design techniques — scientific techniques related to data collection. Through these research opportunities, they have been able to carry out projects in their real-world settings, and for users and industry-related outcomes.

Extension – Access to information for users and industry

If a homeowner is in the business of growing plants for their gardens or making business decisions, consumers expect information based on information and evidence-based science. Studies and the results of projects such as the Montto, Hopkins and Caps projects inform the undergraduate student about best practices and interpret research implications.

Montrea’s Graduation Paper, “Pollen-attracting plants increase Cucumber and Habanero pepper crop production” in American Horticultural Science, ASAS, peer-reviewed journal Horticulture. A.D. He received the ASHS Advanced Extension Award for Papers published in 2020. The selection committee is comprised of scientists, educators and extension staff at ASHS.

Arnold said the award reflects the relevance and quality of research from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Each of us has a unified network of people to achieve our goals,” says Arnold. “That is the point of all disciplinary action. Texas A and M. Agrillif have such diverse expert resources, it is difficult to imagine a topic related to agriculture where people in different departments could not call for cooperation and solutions.

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More info:
John E. Horticulture (2020). DOI: 10.21273 / HORTSCI14468-19

Presented by the University of Texas A and M

ReferenceThe Benefits of Pollen-Related Compounds (2021, September 2) September 2, 2021 from

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