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ARS Home » Plains Area » El Reno, Oklahoma » Oklahoma and Central Plains Agricultural Research Center » Livestock, Forage and Pasture Management Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #379504

Research Project: Integrated Agroecosystem Research to Enhance Forage and Food Production in the Southern Great Plains

Location: Livestock, Forage and Pasture Management Research Unit

Title: A preliminary evaluation on the performance of tall fescue F1 hybrids

item Kindiger, Bryan

Submitted to: Journal of Horticulture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2021
Publication Date: 4/12/2021
Citation: Kindiger, B.K. 2021. A preliminary evaluation on the performance of tall fescue F1 hybrids. Journal of Horticulture. 21:8.

Interpretive Summary: Recent research has identified a method whereby homozygous, inbred lines of tall fescue can be generated. This achievement allows, for the first time, the potential to produce F1 tall fescue hybrids. Similar to other hybrid grain and vegetable hybrids, tall fescue hybrids are anticipated to have similar advantages in heterosis, hybrid vigor and production. Four inbred lines generated from improved, forage tall fescue populations were utilized to produce two F1 hybrid tall fescue prototypes for performance trial testing. Results of the study indicate the F1 forage tall fescue hybrids were uniform in plant characteristics and superior or competitive to normal, standard tall fescue checks. This study suggests tall fescue inbred line generation and F1 hybrid cultivars may be have commercial importance and secure for livestock producers, a more productive, persistent and reliable grass forage resource. The outcome of these preliminary F1 hybrid performance studies has importance to tall fescue seed producers and tall fescue breeders in both the academic and commercial sectors of the industry.

Technical Abstract: Within the Lolium-Festuca genome complex there is a need for modern breeding approaches to facilitate the rapid development of improved cultivars. Traditional recurrent or mass-selection methods for population or synthetic development are labor-intensive and time-consuming. The recent development of an approach to produce dihaploid or homozygous lines of tall fescue offers an opportunity to achieve the development of improved cultivars and the fixation of advantageous genotypic combinations. Dihaploid inducer lines of annual ryegrass (Lolium perenne L. subsp. multiflorum (Lam.) Husnot (syn. Lolium multiflorum Lam.) that exhibit genome loss when hybridized with tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. syn. Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.) were previously hybridized to an array of tall fescue germplasm which resulted in the generation of numerous dihaploid, inbred tall fescue lines. Four of these tall fescue inbred lines were paired and hybridized to generate true F1 hybrids. Nursery trials were conducted to assess the performance of the F1 prototypes. Results of the performance trial suggests F1 hybrid tall fescue can exhibit heterosis, early hybrid vigor and provide forage yields that are superior or competitive to check cultivars.