|Anderson, William - Bill
|GATES, R - SOUTH DAKOTA STATE UNIV
|HANNA, W - UNIV OF GEORGIA
|BLOUNT, A - UNIV OF FLORIDA
|MISLEVY, P - UNIV OF FLORIDA
|EVERS, G - TEXAS A&M UNIV
Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/17/2009
Publication Date: 7/1/2009
Citation: Anderson, W.F., Gates, R.N., Hanna, W.W., Blount, A., Mislevy, P., Evers, G. 2009. Recurrent restricted phenotypic selection for improving stand establishment of bahiagrass. Crop Science 49:1322-1327.
Interpretive Summary: Bahiagrass is an important forage used in pasture and as hay for beef cattle and horses in the Southeast, especially Florida. Bahiagrass is established in the field from seed, however, the current cultivars had a significant amount of ‘hard’ seed which delays germination, allows weeds to establish and slows the establishment of the pasture or hay field. Numerous efforts to mechanically improve the germination have been unsuccessful. This study attempted to genetically improve establishment time by selecting through four generations early germinating plants. Seed from the fourth cycle (C4) was tested versus ‘Tifton 9’ from which it was selected from. C4 germinated 4 times faster, plots were established significantly faster and resulted in significantly higher yields at first harvest (two months after planting). The fast germ C4 will be an advantage to growers who need fast establishment of pasture or use bahiagrass in a sod-based rotation system with row crops such as cotton and peanuts.
Technical Abstract: Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flügge) is an important perennial forage grass for Southern United States because of low soil fertility requirements. The ability to establish pastures with seed is an advantage over hybrid bermudagrass for many growers. Current bahiagrass cultivars germinate over an extended period of time. The slow germination and emergence produces incomplete stands, allows weeds to compete and delays grazing or first cutting for hay. A recurrent restricted phenotypic selection (RRPS) program was begun in 1996 for the purpose of improving fast germination. Seed from Tifton 9 bahiagrass were planted and the first emerging seedlings were selected and used for cross pollination. This procedure was performed over four generations. The resulting cycle 4 rapid germination material was then increased and tested for seedling emergence and vigor. The rapid germ C4 material had a four fold improvement of germination compared to Tifton 9 after one week in greenhouse trials. Germinations rates after one and two weeks were four and two fold greater for C4 compared to Tifton 9 in replicated field trials. Plant height after three weeks from planting were 12 cm for C4 versus 8 cm for Tifton 9. The first harvest dry matter yield of C4 was 3129 kg ha-1 versus 1540 kg ha-1 for Tifton 9 and the total establishment year dry matter yields were 9230 kg ha-1 and 7466 kg ha-1 for C4 and Tifton 9, respectively. Rapid germ C4 had greater first clipping yields than Tifton 9 at Ona, Florida and Overton, Texas in 2005. The improved rapid germination of C4 will be useful in sod-based rotation systems with cotton and peanuts.