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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 49 No. 6, p. 2393-2399
    Received: June 16, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): luciano.pecetti@entecra.it
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Fitting Germplasm Types of Tall Fescue and Orchardgrass to Different Cropping Environments of the Mediterranean Region

  1. L. Pecetti *a,
  2. P. Annicchiaricoa,
  3. C. Porqueddub,
  4. A. Khedimc and
  5. A. Abdelguerfic
  1. a Center of Research for Fodder Crops and Dairy Productions (CRA-FLC), viale Piacenza 29, 26900 Lodi, Italy
    b Institute of Livestock Production Systems in the Mediterranean Environment (CNR-ISPAAM), Traversa la Crucca 3, 07040 Li Punti, Sassari, Italy
    c National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA), 2 Rue des Frères Ouadek, El Harrach, Alger, Algeria. This research was partly supported by the European Union project “Improvement of native perennial forage plants for sustainability of Mediterranean farming systems (PERMED)” (Contract No. INCO-CT-2004-509140)


Understanding of adaptation targets, selection environments, genetic resources, and plant types is required in breeding tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) S.J. Darbysh.] and orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) for Mediterranean environments prone to drought stress. Fourth-year forage yield of seven orchardgrass and five fescue cultivars grown in Algeria and Sardinia revealed (i) crossover cultivar × location interaction in orchardgrass, with dormant germplasm performing best in the drier Algerian site, and nondormant Mediterranean material performing best in Sardinia; and (ii) the advantage of tall fescue over orchardgrass in both sites. Yield of Algerian populations of orchardgrass and tall fescue grown in Algeria was generally lower than the best control (‘Flecha’ tall fescue). Other studies in Italy showed (i) the possibility to select orchardgrass from Mediterranean germplasm that combines summer survival under moderate stress with response to summer rain events; (ii) the nil effect in a Mediterranean site, and the slightly positive effect in a subcontinental climate site of endophyte infection on tall fescue survival; and (iii) the adaptation of Mediterranean and Continental fescue germplasm to their respective climatic areas.

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