Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/17/2004
Publication Date: 10/31/2004
Citation: Waldron, B.L., Jensen, K.B., Peel, M. 2004. Seeded-rows versus spaced-plants to estimate heritability in tall fescue. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts.
Technical Abstract: The validity of using space-planted nurseries for forage trait selection has often been questioned. In 2002, we reported that heritability for dry matter yield in a tall fescue population was higher at 0.5-m spacing (h^2=0.56 (s.e.=0.33)) than at 1.0-m spacing (h^2=0.33 (s.e.=0.34)), indicating that the narrower spacing would be preferred for selection. This is a follow up study comparing 0.5-m spacing versus seeded rows. Twenty-two tall fescue half-sib families were established in two adjacent nurseries. In one nursery, 10-plant plots were established using 0.5 meter between plants and 1.0 meter between rows. In the second nursery, families were seeded into 5-row plots (5m X 15m). Plots were harvested five times in 2002 and 2003 and annual dry matter yields (DMY) were determined. Narrow-sense heritabilities, estimated on a plot basis, were 0.62 (s.e.=0.32) and 0.04 (s.e.=0.46) for the spaced-plants versus seeded rows, respectively. These results support using spaced-plant nurseries for forage trait selection, but also suggest that spaced-plant evaluation may not be predictive of performance when grown in swards.