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Crop Science Abstract -

Organic Acid Composition of Tall Fescue Leaves from Diverse Genotypes1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 16 No. 5, p. 677-679
    Received: Nov 14, 1975

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  1. R. L. Boland,
  2. G. B. Garner,
  3. K. H. Asay and
  4. C. J. Nelson2



Organic acids are important plant metabolites and have been associated with palatability and forage quality. Gas-liquid chromatography was used to quantify nine organic acids in leaves of 22 genetically diverse tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea, Schreb.) genotypes grown in a greenhouse. Significant differences (p < 0.01) were found among genotypes in concentration of malic, citric, x-ketoglutaric, succinic, malonic, quinic, shikimic, and total of the nine acids. Malic acid was most abundant in 19 genotypes and averaged 9.3 mg/g dry wt, followed by citric, succinic, quinic, and shikimic acids with 4.4, 3.6, 3.5, and 2.6 mg/g dry wt, respectively. Concentrations of fumaric and aconitic were usually less than 0.1 mg/g dry wt. A genotype selected from ‘Ky 31’' had 19.3, 6.6, and 38.8 mg/g dry wt of malic, citric, and total of the nine acids, respectively. In contrast, a genotype from Algeria had 3.5, 1.2, and 15.1 mg/g dry wt for the same fractions.

Malic acid concentrations were positively correlated (p < 0.01) with quinic, shikimic, and citric acid levels. Succinic acid was positively correlated with a-ketoglutaric acid, and shikimic acid was positively correlated with quinic acid. The genetic variability observed indicates organic acid content of tall fescue leaves could be altered through breeding.

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