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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 20 No. 4, p. 511-515
    Received: Nov 16, 1979

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Genetics of Vegetative Stand Establishment Characters in Reed Canarygrass Clones1

  1. M. D. Casler and
  2. A. W. Hovin2



The objectives of this study were to evaluate characters related to vegetative stand establishment of reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinarea L.), their heritabilities, interrelationships, and responses with plant age. Characters were evaluated for 22 clones and 12 full-sib families grown in the field and included plant height, plant maturity, axillary shoot length, and node diameter. Vegetative stand establishment characters evaluated in the greenhouse included percentage of rooted nodes (RN%) and number of adventitious roots produced per node (R/N). In the field, chopped culms were covered with soil to determine number of plants produced per culm, number of plants produced per fresh weight of culms (P/W), percentage of nodes establishing plants, and number of tillers per plant (T/P). Axillary shoot length (SL) was measured on plants grown in four environments and all other characters were measured on plants grown in two environments.

Narrow-sense heritabilities of R/N, RN%, P/W, and T/P were estimated by midparent-progeny regressions and ranged from 0.36 to 0.78. Broad-sense heritability estimates ranged from 053 to 0.79 based on clones and 0.65 to 0.79 based on full-sib families.

Comparisons among previously established clonal classes of vegetative stand establishment capacity were significant for R/N. Mean R/N was significantly higher for clones classified as high compared to clones classified as intermediate and was lower for eiones classified as low compared to all other clones. Mean R/N and RN% were highly correlated (r = 0.85; P < 0.01), but variation among clonal classes for RN% was nonsignificant. Mean R/N and RN% were significantly greater in a 4-year-old stand compared to a 1-year-old stand. Basal nodes had higher mean R/N than did apical nodes. Vegetative propagation of reed canarygrass should, if possible, be done with initial growth forage from the lower portion of the canopy of stands at least 3 years old. Genotypes with improved establishment capacity can be identified by their root and shoot production potential in the greenhouse.

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