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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 44 No. 1, p. 289-292
    Received: Oct 28, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): seilerg@fargo.ars.usda.gov
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Genetic Variability for Mineral Element Concentrations of Wild Jerusalem Artichoke Forage

  1. Gerald J. Seiler * and
  2. Larry G. Campbell
  1. USDA-ARS, Northern Crop Science Laboratory, PO Box 5677, Fargo, ND 58105, USA


One of the potential uses of Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) is as a forage crop. Information on inherent differences in forage nutritional quality is essential if the quality of the forage is to be improved through breeding. The objectives of this study were to determine the genotypic variability among and within wild Jerusalem artichoke populations for the concentration of N, P, Ca, Mg, K, and the Ca/P ratio in the forage at flowering, estimate the magnitude of genotype × environment interaction, and examine relationships among mineral concentrations in the forage. Nine wild Jerusalem artichoke populations grown in an irrigated field nursery at Bushland, TX, were evaluated for N, P, Ca, Mg, K, and the Ca/P ratio in the forage at flowering over a 2-yr period. Population, year × population, and error variances were estimated to calculate the phenotypic variance. Estimates of the within-population variances were also determined. The adequacy of Jerusalem artichoke forage at flowering for maintenance of a ruminant animal was classified as follows: N, Ca, Mg, and K as adequate, P inadequate, and the Ca/P ratio as excessive. There were genotypic differences among the nine populations for N, K, P, Ca, Mg, and the Ca/P ratio for both years and averaged across years. The magnitude of the genotypic variance components indicated that a substantial proportion of the total variation for these elements was due to genotype, indicating the possibility of improvement through hybridization and selection. Within-population variation for N, Ca, and K was high, indicating potential for improvement with further selection within populations. Population variances for P and Mg were low, suggesting it will be difficult to improve these with selection. Unfortunately, P is inadequate in the forage to begin with, and our data indicated that selecting within populations for high P may not be very successful.

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