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Crop Science Abstract -

Genetic Variability of Seed Yield and Reproductive Characters in Tall Fescue1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 23 No. 4, p. 621-626
    Received: Oct 7, 1982

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  1. H. T. Nguyen and
  2. D. A. Sleper2



Superior seed-yielding ability in tall rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is important during the seed multiplication phases of breeding new cultivars and under commercial seed production. Objectives of this study were to 1) determine genetic variability, genotype ✕ environment interactions, and heritabilities for seed yield and reproductive characters; 2) study interrelationships among those characters; and 3) predict genetic gain from selection. Fifteen parents were randomly chosen from a broad-based population, and their half-sib progenies were generated using a polycross mating design. All entries were evaluated for 10 seed production characters for 2 years at two locations. Genotype and genotype ✕ environment interactions were significant for most characters. Additive genetic variance accounted for a significant proportion of the total genetic variance for maturity score, number of panicles, panicle length, seed yield, and seed weight per panicle. Narrow-sense heritability estimates on a phenotypic mean basis, using both variance component and genotypic parent-offspring regression methods, were high for maturity score, number of panicles, panicle length, and seed yield; and medium for 100-seed weight and seed weight per panicle. Predicted genetic gains per cycle of phenotypic family selection were 33, 45, 27, 34, and 14% of the population means for maturity score, number of panicles, panicle length, seed yield, and 100-weight, respectively. Correlation analyses showed that early-maturing plants had higher numbers of panicles with shorter panicles and higher seed yields. Increased seed yield and size could be expected as the result of selection for early maturity in this plant material.

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