2012 Volume 15 Issue 1 Pages 23-31
We examined 50 cultivars of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) for their resistance to birds in a field experiment to find parental plants for breeding. Two cultivars, Armarvirskij3497 (from Russia) and Line-41 (from Myanmar), had bird-resistant characteristics. The laboratory bird feeding test indicated that the factors associated with bird resistance were globular seed shape and heavy seed coat, because the main bird feeding on sunflower, oriental greenfinch Carduelis sinica, is relatively small and have difficulty pecking large and globular seeds. Although the two cultivars had unfavorable characters such as low tolerance to lodging and late maturity, the oil contents of their seeds was not significantly lower than that in the susceptible cultivar (63M80). The present findings suggest that Armarvirskij3497 and Line-41 are candidate parental materials for breeding bird-resistant sunflower cultivars without losing seed oil productivity.
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