The Microenvironment within and Pollen Transmission through Polyethylene Sorghum Pollination Bags


Bird damage is a problem in sorghum breeding and germplasm maintenance operations. Paper pollination bags are damaged by rain and provide minimal deterrent to birds. Earlier we reported upon bird resistance of spun polyethylene pollination bags. Herein, we report the potential for pollen transmission through, and the microenvironment within, hard form (HfT) and soft form (SfT) spun polyethylene pollination bags as compared to traditional Paper pollination bags. Within Paper pollination bags morning temperatures were 10°C - 15°C above ambient and high temperature excursions as high as 45°C were measured. Heating in Sft and HfT was 25% and 50% that of Paper, respectively. Temperature differences between bags were attributed to differences in albedo and air permeability of the bag materials. No difference in pollen transmission through Paper and HfT was found. Although SfT allowed 35% - 40% wind borne pollen through the pores as compared to controls, male sterile plants covered with SfT produced only 30 seeds/panicle, about 1% of a self-pollinating fertile plant. Our results suggested that SfT could adequately reduce or eliminate cross-pollination in self-pollinating plants while maintaining near ambient environmental conditions.

Share and Cite:

Gitz, D. , Baker, J. , Xin, Z. , Burke, J. and Lascano, R. (2015) The Microenvironment within and Pollen Transmission through Polyethylene Sorghum Pollination Bags. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 6, 265-274. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2015.62030.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Dahlberg, J., Berenji, J., Sikora, V. and Latkovic, D. (2011) Assessing Sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] Germplasm for New Traits: Food, Fuels & Unique Uses. Maydica, 56, 85-92.
[2] Ormerod, S.J. and Watkinson, A.R. (2000) Editor’s Introduction: Birds and Agriculture. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 699-705.
[3] Gitz, D., Baker, J., Xin, Z., Lascano, R., Burke, J. and Duke, S. (2013) Research Note: Bird-Resistant Pollination Bags for Sorghum Breeding and Germplasm Maintenance. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 4, 571-574.
[4] Frederiksen, R.A. and Miller, F. (1972) Proposal for Release and Increase ATx622, BTx622, ATx623, BTx623, ATx624, BTx624. TAES Form 96-72: Seed Release Committee of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station College Station.
[5] Lawrence, M.G. (2005) The Relationship between Relative Humidity and the Dewpoint Temperature in Moist Air: A Simple Conversion and Applications. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 86, 225-233.
[6] Neal, P.R. and Anderson, G.J. (2004) Does the “Old Bag” Make a Good “Wind Bag”?: Comparison of Four Fabrics Commonly Used as Exclusion Bags in Studies of Pollination and Reproductive Biology. Annals of Botany, 93, 603-607.
[7] Ball, S.T., Campbell, G.S. and Konzak, C.F. (1992) Pollination Bags Affect Wheat Spike Temperature. Crop Science, 32, 1155-1159.
[8] McGranahan, G.H., Voyiatzis, D.G., Catlin, P.B. and Polito, V.S.I. (1994) High Pollen Loads Can Cause Pistillate Flower Abscission in Walnut. Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science, 119, 505-509.
[9] Pickering, R.A. (1982) The Effect of Pollination Bag Type on Seed Quality and Size in Hordeum: Inter-and Intraspecific Hybridization. Euphytica, 31, 439-449.
[10] Wyatt, R., Broyles, S.B. and Derda, G.S. (1992) Environmental Influences on Nectar Production in Milkweeds (Asclepiassyriaca and A. exaltata). American Journal of Botany, 79, 636-642.
[11] del Río, C. and Caballero, J.M. (1999) A New Bag for Olive Pollination Studies. International Society for Horticultural Science, III International Symposium on Olive Growing. Acta Horticulturae, 474, 233-236.
[12] Stoll, S.P. (1996) An Investigation of the Reflective Properties of Tyvek Papers and Tetratex PTFE Film. Physics Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, PHENIX Note #245.
[13] Rozema, J., van de Staaij, J., Björn, L.O. and Caldwell, M. (1997) UV-B as an Environmental Factor in Plant Life: Stress and Regulation. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 12, 22-28.
[14] Jordan, B.R. (2002) Review: Molecular Response of Plant Cells to UV-B Stress. Functional Plant Biology, 29, 909- 916.
[15] Kataoka, I. and Beppu, K. (2004) UV Irradiance Increases Development of Red Skin Color and Anthocyanins in “Hakuho” Peach. Hort Science, 39, 1234-1237.
[16] Pedersen, J.F., Toy, J.J. and Johnson, B. (1998) Natural Outcrossing of Sorghum and Sudangrass in the Central Great Plains. Crop Science, 38, 937-939.
[17] Smith, D.C. and Mehlenbacher, S.A. (1994) Use of Tyvek Housewrap for Pollination Bags in Breeding Hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.). Hortscience, 29, 918.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.