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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Nutritive Value Estimates in Apomictic Lines of Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.)1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 64 No. 4, p. 453-456
    Received: Sept 27, 1971

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  1. Dale A. Lovelace,
  2. E. C. Holt,
  3. W. C. Ellis and
  4. E. C. Bashaw2



The cell wall content of a forage and the digestibility of the cell wall determine to a large extent the digestibility of the forage. A study was conducted with buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.) to determine whether cell wall digestibility differences among lines are related to components of the cell wall or the total cell wall content. Seven lines of buffelgrass were evaluated in an in vivo digestibility study. Leaf, stem, and whole plant samples of 15 lines were evaluated at two harvest in an in vitro digestion study. Significant differences in dry matter digestibility were detected among lines in both the in vivo and in vitro studies. About 66% of the variation in digestibility was associated with the digesibility of cell wall. Correlations of digestibility with various cell wall components or component ratios were not sufficiently high to be of significance for prediction purposes.

There were no differences among lines in in vitro dry matter digestibility of leaves, but there were for stems and whole plants. Differences in digestibility of cell wall were obtained for leaves, stems, and whole plants. Experimental lines differed in agronomic characteristics such as rhizome development, density, seed production, and color, but no significant correlations of these variables with digestibility could be shown. The most useful procedure for screening buffelgrass plants for quality seems to be in vitro dry matter digestibility with an associated neutral detergent fiber determination, whereby both cell wall content and cell wall digestibiity could be estimated.

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