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Crop Science Abstract -

Succulence as a Selection Criterion for Improved Forage Quality in Lolium-Festuca Hybrids1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 19 No. 1, p. 93-96
    Received: June 26, 1978

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  1. R. C. Buckner,
  2. L. P. Bush and
  3. P. B. Burrus II2



Succulence or water content was used as an index for selection to improve forage quality of Lolium-Festuca hybrid derivatives. Leaf-roll, moisture content, and in vitro dry matter digestibility, determined during drought stress, were used as selection criteria to isolate succulent parents of ‘Kenhy’ and an experimental strain, G1-307. Kenhy and G1-307 had significantly less leaf-roll; higher moisture content, palatability, and digestibility; lower acid-detergent-fiber content than ‘Kentucky 31’ and ‘Fawn’ tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) when all were compared in field plots. Stomata in Kenhy had a smaller pore size and a lower frequency per unit area than those in Kentucky 31, which may account for differences between the two cultivars in leaf-roll and succulence characteristics. A positive relation was observed among moisture content, digestibility, and palatability. Moisture content was negatively correlated with acid detergent fiber. An analysis of variance for moisture content of parents and progenies of G1-307 indicated that this characteristic was sufficiently heritable to permit improvement of forage quality of tall fescue through breeding.

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