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Latitudinal and Longitudinal Adaptation of Smooth Bromegrass Populations

By M. D. Casler, Kenneth P. Vogel, J. A. Balasko, J. D. Berdahl, D. A. Miller, J. L. Hansen and J. O. Fritz

Abstract

Breeding progress has been slow in smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss) since its introduction to North America. Much of the variability among cultivars appears to have arisen by natural selection and adaptive responses. The objective of this study was to determine if smooth bromegrass cultivars differ in latitudinal or longitudinal adaptation, as measured by forage yield, and if that variability relates to their breeding or selection history. The target region was defined as the Great Plains to the East Coast of the USA, from 38 to 47 degrees N latitude. Twenty-nine cultivars and experimental populations were evaluated for forage yield at up to seven locations ranging from central to eastern USA. Populations were classified according to pooled population main effect and population x location interaction effect (G + GL deviations). Cluster analysis resulted in eight clusters that explained 90% of the variation among G + GL deviations. One cluster consisted of populations average in adaptation, four clusters consisted of populations that were largely unadapted across the entire region, and three clusters consisted of populations that were specifically adapted to the entire region or a large part thereof. Much of the grouping and adaptation characteristics could be explained by similar pedigrees, selection history, and selection location. However, the phenotypic similarity of some superior, but divergent-pedigree populations suggested that alleles for high and stable forage yield in smooth bromegrass probably exist in numerous germplasm sources. Despite a history of little to no gains in forage yield, these results suggest unrealized potential for future improvement of forage yield of smooth bromegrass across a broad geographic region

Publisher: DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.unl.edu:usdaarsfacpub-2924
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