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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 14 No. 1, p. 50-53
    Received: May 12, 1973

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Inheritance of Indole Alkaloids in Reed Canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.). I. Heritability Estimates for Alkaloid Concentration1

  1. R. E. Barker and
  2. A. W. Hovin2



Our objectives were to estimate genotypic and environmental variances and heritability of indole alkaloid concentration in reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) The variance component estimates for genotype ✕ environment and genotype ✕ cutting interactions were significant but small as compared to the estimate for genetic variance among 31 unrelated clones of diverse origin. Genotype ✕ environment ✕ replication in environments interactions were statistically nonsignificant. Thus, variation in alkaloid concentration was largely associated with genotypes.

Heritability studies included 36 clones and their 18 two-clone crosses grown at 2 locations. Heritability estimates from the second cutting were higher than corresponding estimates from the third cutting. Combining data from two regrowth cuttings in one season reduced the bias introduced as a result of sampling the forage at different growth stages. When based on parents in the 0.17 to 1.37% overall alkaloid concentration range, realized heritability estimates for the combined August and September cuttings ranged from 0.67 to 0.72. All heritability estimates were slightly higher for the high alkaloid concentration range compared to estimates for the low range. Narrow-sense heritability estimates were nearly as large as the corresponding broad-sense estimates; thus, total genetic variance was largely additive. Parent-offspring regression analyses of identical materials confirmed this conclusion. Our results suggest that genetic gain in alkaloid concentration can be realized from selection among individual plants.

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