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Title: Genetic variation for dry matter yield, forage quality, and seed traits among the half-sib progency of nine orchardgrass germplasm

item Robins, Joseph
item Bushman, Shaun
item Jensen, Kevin
item ESCRIBANO, SANDRA - University Of California
item BLASER, GREG - Brigham Young University - Idaho

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/5/2014
Publication Date: 12/22/2014
Citation: Robins, J.G., Bushman, B.S., Jensen, K.B., Escribano, S., Blaser, G. 2014. Genetic variation for dry matter yield, forage quality, and seed traits among the half-sib progency of nine orchardgrass germplasm. Crop Science. 55:275-283.

Interpretive Summary: The incorporation of new sources of orchardgrass germplasm may be a way to increase orchardgrass forage performance. In this paper, we describe the performance of several sources or orchardgrass germplasm when used as parents of new populations. We evaluated 162 families and several commercial varieties at Millville, UT and Rexburg, ID field sites from 2008 to 2010. We identified substantial differences among the families and also identified several families with better forage performance than the included commercial varieties. We also identified some potential for use of hybrid vigor in orchardgrass improvement.

Technical Abstract: A potential strategy to address the lack of success of North American orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) breeding programs to increase forage yield and other agronomic traits is the incorporation of novel sources of germplasm. In an attempt to identify novel orchardgrass germplasm sources with agronomic potential, the study described herein characterized 162 half-sib families (HSFs) from six orchardgrasss germplasm populations and three orchardgrass cultivars. Study conditions were Millville, UT and Rexburg, ID USA field sites with data collection from 2008 to 2010. The genotype x location interaction variance differed from zero for dry matter yield (DMY), crude protein (CP), in vitro true digestibility (IVTD), and neutral detergent fiber (NDF). Within location broad-sense heritability differed for all trait at both locations for all traits but IVTD at Rexburg and ranged from (0.36 + or - 0.10 to 0.77 + or - 0.03). For each trait, there were HSFs that possessed values similar to or better than the included check cultivars (CCs). Additionally, in several instances, the mean phenotype of the HSFs from a specific family was better than the phenotype of the corresponding parental population (PP) and/or the mean phenotype of the CCs. Overall, for each trait, there existed sufficient genetic variation to develop an elite orchardgrass breeding program for irrigated conditions.