Pollination Methods for Cornus Breeding

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  • 1 1Tennessee State Univ., Nursery Crop Research Station, 472 Cadillac Ln., McMinnville, TN 37110
  • | 2 2TSU Cooperative Agriculture Research Program, Nashville, TN 37209
  • | 3 3The Univ. of Tennessee, P.O. Box 1071 Knoxville, TN 37901

Hand pollinations and honey bees were used to cross Cornus florida cultivars in a series of experiments investigating dogwood pollination biology from a breeding viewpoint and testing the use of insects (domestic honey bees and ladybug beetles as pollinators in dogwood breeding. Experiments were conducted to study possible incompatibility between dogwood cultivars and to determine if self-compatibility and self-fertility occur in Cornus florida. Since 1993, ≈200 seedlings have been produced by hand and insect-mediated pollinations. Honey bees can be used in dogwood breeding. Trees cross pollinated by ladybeetles had lower fruit set than trees cross pollinated by honey bees. Greenhouse forcing to accelerate anthesis and cold storage to delay the onset of bloom of container-grown trees can extend the dogwood breeding season effectively.

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