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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #232363

Title: Genetic variability of napiergrass: improvement as a cellulosic feedstock for the Southeast

item Anderson, William - Bill

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2008
Publication Date: 10/3/2008
Citation: Malik, R., Anderson, W.F. 2008. Genetic variability of napiergrass: improvement as a cellulosic feedstock for the Southeast. In: Joint Annual Meeting Abstracts [CD:Rom] GSA/SSSA/ASA/CSSA/GCAGS Oct 4-7, Houston, TX.

Interpretive Summary: not required

Technical Abstract: Napiergrass or elephantgrass (Pennisetum purpureum Schumach) is a tall C4 grass that is used throughout the world as a forage crop. Breeding efforts at the University of Florida and with USDA-ARS at Tifton, GA produced high yielding cultivars (Merkeron) and breeding lines during the 1980’s. Yields have been reported as high as 40 Mg ha-1yr-1 in Florida. Merkeron had significantly higher yields than switchgrass cultivar Alamo over 6 years and at three locations in Georgia. A nursery with approximately 100 napiergrass plant introductions were evaluated for phenotypic traits related to biomass production and cell wall composition. Genetic variability was also assessed via AFLP analyses. A substantial range was found among accessions for leaf and stem neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and acid detergent fiber (ADF). The dendrogram constructed from AFLP analyses show clustering of accessions by country as well as significant heterozygosity within accessions.