Breeding Apomictic Lovegrasses: Forage Potential of Boer ✕ Weeping Hybrids1
- P. W. Voigt2
Breeding schemes have been developed for several apomictic species. However, few assessments of the potential of hybrids developed through manipulation of apomixis have been published. Apomictic lovegrass Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees, hybrids were developed from crosses of sexual boer ✕ apomictic weeping lovegrass. The objectives of this research were to determine the forage potential of boer ✕ weeping hybrids, assess the genetic potential of the parent genotypes, and begin to evaluate the usefulness of the apomictic breeding scheme. Significant differences in forage vigor and quality were found among the hybrids. ‘Morpa’ weeping lovegrass produced hybrids that were higher in in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) than common weeping lovegrass hybrids. Boer lovegrass genotype 40-9-69FQ (40-9) was inferior as a female parent because its hybrids tended to be lower in vigor than those from other boer lovegrass genotypes. Several hybrids from the cross 40-9 ✕ Morpa were significantly higher in IVDMD than Morpa or ‘Ermelo’, the most digestible cultivars. However, IVDMD and vigor were negatively related in that cross (r = -0.31 to -0.72**, significant at the 0.01 level of probability). Two hybrids with superior IVDMD and average vigor were identified. Diplosporic apomixis can be successfully manipulated to develop higher quality lovegrass cultivars if the negative relationship between IVDMD and vigor can be broken or is found to be less important in other crosses.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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