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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 44 No. 3, p. 988-996
     
    Received: Sept 26, 2002
    Published: May, 2004


    * Corresponding author(s): mia.sahramaa@mtt.fi
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doi:10.2135/cropsci2004.9880

Variation in Seed Production Traits of Reed Canarygrass Germplasm

  1. Mia Sahramaa *a,
  2. Leena Hömmöb and
  3. Lauri Jauhiainenc
  1. a MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Plant Production Research, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland
    b Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Malminkatu 16, FIN-00023, Finland
    c MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Research Services, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland

Abstract

Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) (RCG) is usually grown for forage, but it is also a potential crop for bioenergy and paper pulp production since under long-day conditions it produces substantial biomass. Problems related to seed production, including low seed yield and early seed shattering, should be addressed before its cultivation can be increased at high latitudes. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the extent and nature of variation in seed production traits and factors contributing to high seed yield. Seed yield, seed shattering, seed weight, germination, panicle weight, and panicle length were studied in Finland in 1995, and panicle number between 1995 and 1997. The research material included eight cultivars, 14 breeding lines, and 53 Finnish wild populations, which were divided into 10 groups according to their origin. Results indicated that populations of reed canarygrass differed markedly in seed production traits. Cultivars, breeding lines, and the southernmost wild groups from the coastal area had the best seed production traits. The northernmost wild group was superior only in resistance to seed shattering. The best time for harvest was later for cultivars than for breeding lines and wild populations. Seed production traits were correlated, which would allow simultaneous improvement of those traits. The variation in traits recorded in this study indicated that there is potential to breed new reed canarygrass cultivars with good seed production from local populations from particular geographic areas and breeding materials.

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