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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 50 No. 3, p. 1057-1065
     
    Received: May 1, 2009


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doi:10.2135/cropsci2009.05.0235

Seed Production Characteristics of Prairie Junegrass Germplasm Accessions

  1. Matthew D. Clark and
  2. Eric Watkins*
  1. Dep. of Horticultural Science, Univ. of Minnesota, 1970 Folwell Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108

Abstract

Prairie junegrass [Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Shult.] is a perennial, short-grass prairie species distributed throughout the northern hemisphere. This species is known to require fewer inputs than other cool-season turfgrasses and it demonstrates tolerance to many environmental stresses found in Minnesota. In June 2007, 48 K. macrantha accessions from the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) were grown and evaluated for seed production characteristics in 2 locations (St. Paul, MN, and Becker, MN). Significant variation was found among accessions for several seed production traits including harvest date, plant height, seedhead number, and seed yield. A significant correlation between seedhead number and seed yield was found, which can be utilized for indirect selection in the production nursery. Plant growth and seed yield were highest at the Becker location, demonstrating the species' preference for well-drained soils. Flowering times were significantly different between the locations; however, there were no significant differences in the duration from seedhead emergence to harvest between the locations. Multivariate analysis did not reveal clustering of accessions based on geographic origin, suggesting a diversity of material within collection regions.

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