Effect of electrostatic force on mechanical pollination in greenhouse crops
Many flowers are morphologically adapted to take advantage of electrostatic forces during pollination. Hence the application of electrostatic force in non-contact type mechanical pollen collection has been gaining more importance since most of the mechanical pollinators are contact in type and cause mechanical injury to the flower which leads to a decrease in fruit set efficiency.
This study investigated different parameters for the development of an electrostatic pollinator for vegetable crops under protected cultivation. Tomato and bitter gourd were selected for the study. Electrostatic pollinator mainly consists of an electrode and a high voltage amplification circuit. Spherical shaped electrodes, E1 and E2 with diameter 10 mm and 7.5 mm, and an electrostatic induction charging system was selected for uniform distribution of charges. The pollen collection and deposition capacity of electrodes were evaluated at different voltage potentials of 3 kV, 4 kV, 5 kV, 6 kV, and 7 kV. Fruit set efficiency of the flowers after electrostatic and conventional pollination were recorded.
The maximum number of pollens was collected by electrode E1 with a charging potential of 6 kV at 5 mm distance from the anther tip of flower. At 7 kV electrode potential, repulsion of pollen grains was observed just before reaching the electrode after detaching from the anther and some of the repelled pollens are deposited on the stigma of the same flower. The fruit set efficiency of was 70% in tomato and 100% in a bitter gourd with electrostatic pollination whereas it was 30% after hand pollination. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Lukose, Rinju & Dhalin, Dharaneedharan & Suresh, Dipak & R Subhagan, Seena & Jayan, P & Shivaji, K. (2022). Effect of Electrostatic Force on Mechanical Pollination in Green House Crops. Ama, Agricultural Mechanization in Asia, Africa & Latin America. 53. 5205-5218.