Crop breeding to break nexus between bee decline/food production?

John Hamblin, Martin J. Barbetti, Katia Stefanova, Freda Blakeway, Jon Clements, Wallace Cowling, Yiming Guo, Philip Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Yield of 70% of crops are reported to benefit from animal pollination, primarily by bees. There are major concerns that honey bee (Apis mellifera) decline will reduce food production. Current research focuses on bee health and its impact on crop production. Pollinators are considered essential for high yields of thirteen crops including melons. Here we show it is possible to select genotypes of several crops, including melons, where yield is independent of pollinators. This approach, for managing the pollination/production nexus, has not been widely considered. We contrast our results and methodology with reports used to determine a crop's need for bee pollination. Uptake of bee independent varieties will depend on whether the species is herbaceous or perennial. Our results suggest the potential impact of bee decline has been significantly over-estimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-63
Number of pages8
JournalGlobal Food Security
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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Bees
food production
plant breeding
bee
Crops
Breeding
Apoidea
breeding
food
Food
crop
Pollination
pollination
pollinating insects
melons
Cucurbitaceae
research focus
pollinator
crops
animal

Cite this

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title = "Crop breeding to break nexus between bee decline/food production?",
abstract = "Yield of 70{\%} of crops are reported to benefit from animal pollination, primarily by bees. There are major concerns that honey bee (Apis mellifera) decline will reduce food production. Current research focuses on bee health and its impact on crop production. Pollinators are considered essential for high yields of thirteen crops including melons. Here we show it is possible to select genotypes of several crops, including melons, where yield is independent of pollinators. This approach, for managing the pollination/production nexus, has not been widely considered. We contrast our results and methodology with reports used to determine a crop's need for bee pollination. Uptake of bee independent varieties will depend on whether the species is herbaceous or perennial. Our results suggest the potential impact of bee decline has been significantly over-estimated.",
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Crop breeding to break nexus between bee decline/food production? / Hamblin, John; Barbetti, Martin J.; Stefanova, Katia; Blakeway, Freda; Clements, Jon; Cowling, Wallace; Guo, Yiming; Nichols, Philip.

In: Global Food Security, Vol. 19, 01.12.2018, p. 56-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Guo, Yiming

AU - Nichols, Philip

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