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Pollination biology of achiote plants cultivated in Nova Alta Paulista, São Paulo State, Brazil

Grant number: 14/25493-2
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2015
Effective date (End): July 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Ecology of Domestic Animals and Ethology
Principal researcher:Daniel Nicodemo
Grantee:Alessandra Lima Santos
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Tecnológicas. Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Dracena. Dracena , SP, Brazil


The achiote plant (Bixa orellana) is a shrub of Bixaceae family and has its origin in South America, specifically in the Amazon region. Commercially, the region of Nova Alta Paulista has been highlighted in Brazil regarding the production of achiote, accounting for about 70% of the State of São Paulo production. The production of achiote is highly influenced by the pollination services provided by insect pollinators and the culture supply through their effective pollinators can provide higher yields and consequently higher economic returns. This study aims to evaluate the floral characteristics of achiote plants and to identify the insect fauna visitors to the flowers of this crop in the region of Nova Alta Paulista, to assess the pollination biology of achiote plants, making it possible to determine the current pollination levels favor the satisfactory fruit production and perform inferences about future actions related to the pollination biology of achiote plants that can increase crop productivity. The experiment will be performed in a rural property in the city of Monte Castelo, State of São Paulo, in which is grown achiote plants of Embrapa-36 cultivar, in an area of 24 ha, from January to December 2015. We will conduct achiote floral biology studies, regarding the flowering times during the year, anthesis period, number of flowers per inflorescence and stigma receptivity. In relation to floral visitors, will be identified the most frequent visitors to the studied crop, determining the hours of visitation and grazing behavior on achiote flowers. For pollination tests, the importance of pollinators for fruit production will be evaluated. Will be adopted one randomized block design, considering the block as a period of one month. For statistical analysis, the quantitative data obtained will be submitted to analysis of variance and, for multiple comparisons, the Tukey test will be used, at a significance level of 5%. Non-parametric data will be analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test.

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