Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2002
Publication Date: 4/30/2003
Citation: CASLER, M.D., BARKER, R.E., BRUMMER, E.C., PAPADOPOLOUS, Y.A., HOFFMAN, L.D. SELECTION FOR ORCHARDGRASS SEED YIELD IN TARGET VS. NON-TARGET ENVIRONMENTS. CROP SCIENCE. 2003. v. 43(2). p. 532-538.
Interpretive Summary: Orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) has two commodities, forage and seed, that are produced in highly contrasting environments. Simultaneous improvement of both commodities in a single breeding program is highly problematic due to geographic separation of these environments. This paper showed that even the most comprehensive efforts to utilize sophisticated multi-location selection protocols to improve seed yield is less efficient than selection within the target population of environments. We also showed that selection for seed yield within the target population of environments is incapable of providing improvements in forage yield. The most efficient simultaneous selection for forage and seed traits will require use of both types of environments.
Technical Abstract: Simultaneous improvement of forage traits and seed yield in orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) has been problematic because of geographic separation of forage and seed production locations. Previous work has shown that a complex multi-location selection program in forage production environments can increase forage yield as well as seed yield in Oregon. The objective of this experiment was to compare target-environment (TE) and non-target-environment (NTE) selection approaches for increasing seed yield of orchardgrass in Oregon. Two cycles of phenotypic selection for panicle seed mass and agronomic traits were conducted using four eastern USA locations (NTE) and one Oregon location (TE). Seed yield was uniformly increased in four orchardgrass populations by TE selection, averaging 5.1 % cycle-1, but was improved by NTE selection in only one of four populations. Conversely, TE selection resulted in no changes to forage yield in the eastern USA and Canada, while NTE selection increased forage yield in two of four populations, confirming results of a previous study. It appears the most efficient system for simultaneously improving forage and seed traits of orchardgrass would be to practice selection for forage traits in forage production environments and seed traits in seed production environments, using sufficiently large populations to allow multi-trait selection.