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Investigating the potential of novel nonwoven fabrics for efficient pollination control in plant breeding

Clifton-Brown, JC, Senior, H, Purdy, SJ, Horsnell, R, Lankamp, B, Müennekhoff, AK, Virk, D, Guillemois, E, Chetty, V, Cookson, A, Girdwood, S, Clifton-Brown, G, Tan, MLM, Awty-Carroll, D and Bentley, AR (2018) Investigating the potential of novel nonwoven fabrics for efficient pollination control in plant breeding. PLoS ONE, 13 (9). ISSN 1932-6203

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Plant breeding is achieved through the controlled self- or cross-pollination of individuals and typically involves isolation of floral parts from selected parental plants. Paper, cellulose or synthetic materials are used to avoid self pollination or cross contamination. Low seed set limits the rate of breeding progress and increases costs. We hypothesized that a novel ‘nonwoven’ fabric optimal for both pollination and seed set in multiple plant species could be developed. After determining the baseline pollen characteristics and usage requirements we established iterative three phase development and biological testing. This determined (1) that white fabric gave superior seed return and informed the (2) development of three non-woven materials using different fibre and layering techniques. We tested their performance in selfing and hybridisation experiments recording differences in performance by material type within species. Finally we (3) developed further advanced fabrics with increased air permeability and tested biological performance. An interaction between material type and species was observed and environmental decoupling investigated, showing that the non-woven fabrics had superior water vapour transmission and temperature regulation compared to controls. Overall, non-woven fabrics outperformed existing materials for both pollination and seed set and we found that different materials can optimize species-specific, rather than species-generic performance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arabidopsis; Beta vulgaris; Triticum; Textiles; Pollination; Plant Breeding; Arabidopsis; Beta vulgaris; Plant Breeding; Pollination; Textiles; Triticum; General Science & Technology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2023 14:12
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2023 14:12
DOI or ID number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204728
Editors: Sarma, Birinchi
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18580
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