Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link syn Cenchrus ciliaris L.) is a widely grown forage species throughout the semi-arid tropics. In recent years, problems with poor seed-set have been identified in selected genotypes of buffelgrass grown under dryland conditions. This study was conducted to identify reasons for poor seed-set within this species. Seed-set was monitored one year (1994) at Beeville and for two years (1995-1996) at College Station by hand-stripping inflorescences from each of three genotypes (Common, T-704, and T-1754) at weekly intervals. At the same time, flowering inflorescences were collected, fixed in FAA, and examined microscopically to determine pollen stainability and pollen tube growth. Fertility was expressed as the number of caryopsis per 100 involucres. Across genotypes and harvest dates, mean seed-set ranged from 1.5 to 77 percent and from 12 to 110 percent at Beeville and College Station, respectively. At both locations seedset was highest in May and lowest in July or August. No seasonal trends in pollen stainability or pollen tube growth were observed throughout the study.