|Ramirez-De Leon, H - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY|
|Rooney, W - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY|
|Ocumpaugh, W - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY|
Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Meetings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2004
Publication Date: October 5, 2004
Citation: Ramirez-De Leon, H., Ocumpaugh, W.R., Burson, B.L., Tischler, C.R., Rooney, W.L. 2004. Heritability for seedling vigor in switchgrass [abstract]. American Society of Agronomy. 2004 CDROM. Technical Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is a warm-season perennial forage grass, native to the United States. While it is widely grown, stand establishment is a limiting factor because the seedlings are slow growing. Therefore, seedling vigor is critical in the establishment of forage grasses. The objectives of this study were to determine the heritability of seedling vigor in switchgrass and to measure the rate of gain in seedling vigor following two cycles of half-sib family selection. A base population was created from several lowland cultivars, and a half-sib methodology was used to measure heritability. Seedling vigor of the half-sibs was evaluated in the growth chamber, and 14 days after emergence, the trail was harvested by clipping seedlings at the soil level. After harvest the seedlings were oven-dried for 24-hr and the dry weight of each seedling was recorded. The best performers were the half-sibs with the heaviest weights. Broad-sense heritability was estimated using half-sib families from the C1 cycle and it was estimated at 0.6. Mean dry weight of the seedlings from the C1 was actually less than that of C0 indicating that selection was not successful after one cycle. An additional cycle of selection is needed to see if this trend is consistent.