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Department of Plant Sciences

Breeding pollinator-friendly crops for the future

Beverley Glover and two of her PhD students have teamed together with Jeff Ollerton of the University of Northampton to write a review in Current Opinion in Plant Biology. This review is centred around how research into plant-pollinator interactions can provide information on how to breed more insect-friendly and better-pollinated crops.  Whilst many breeding programmes for crop improvement target agronomic traits such as disease resistance there has been very little research into how floral traits affect pollination levels in animal-pollinated crops. With pollinator communities in decline and the acreage of animal-pollinated crops increasing, this approach of improving yield through pollinator visitation will become increasingly important in the future.

  • Bailes EJ, Ollerton J, Pattrick JG, Glover BJ. 2015. How can an understanding of plant–pollinator interactions contribute to global food security? Current Opinion in Plant Biology. doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2015.06.002


Bombus hortorum, the garden bumble bee