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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Breeding Apomictic Forage Grasses

Authors
item Burson, Byron
item Hussey, M - TEXAS A & M UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Conference Interpretive Summaries Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 31, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Apomixis is a type of asexual or vegetative reproduction where seed are produced without fertilization. It is present in many warm-season forage grasses and can be used as a breeding tool if normal sexual plants are available. When sexual plants are not available, options for improvement are limited. Occasionally an unreduced apomictic embryo is fertilized by a sperm from a normal pollen grain producing what are known as 2n+n hybrids. These hybrids have the unreduced chromosome number of the apomictic plant plus the chromosomes from the reduced pollen grain. The objective of this study was to evaluate the forage potential of 2n+n hybrids between Pennisetum flaccidum and P. mezianum. On the average, these hybrids produced 5.3 times more forage than their parents and had increased cold tolerance. These findings indicate that the fertilization of an unreduced egg (2n+n) has potential for improving apomictic species.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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