After sunflower seeds were exposed to space conditions, various mutant plants were screened from the descendent plants. The morphological characters of plants changed in flower color from golden to yellow, light yellow, or even to yellowish green. The ligulate petals of the unisexual floret broadened, or became thin, while the short tubular petals of bisexual floret elongated to some extent, or even turned into semi-ligulate petals or ligulate petals, making the phenotype of the whole inflorescence like a chrysanthemum.
Hybrid identification of 16 sunflower hybrids was confirmed using simple-sequence repeat methodology. Of 20 specific simple-sequence repeat primers, 18 authenticated the purity of these hybrids; the remaining two specific primer pairs gave ambiguous DNA fragments. The results indicate that simple-sequence repeat analysis for the identification of hybrids derived from the crossing of different inbred sunflower lines can improve the accuracy of selection, save time and reduce cost.
We selected honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera L.) with a high tendency to collect sunflower pollen and estimated the heritability of this trait. The percentage of sunflower pollen collected by 74 colonies was evaluated. Five colonies that collected the highest percentages of sunflower pollen were selected. Nineteen colonies headed by daughters of these selected queens were evaluated for this characteristic in comparison with 20 control (unselected) colonies.