, 215:161 | Cite as

Assessment of crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) accessions with different geographical origins for agronomic and phenotypic traits and nutritive value

  • Samuel Tandoh
  • Bruce Coulman
  • Bill BiligetuEmail author


The objectives of this study were to characterize crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) germplasm for plant maturity and associated agronomic characteristics to identify germplasm with late maturity. A field trial was established in July 2014 at Saskatoon, Canada using 45 crested wheatgrass accessions representing materials from 18 countries in a randomized complete block design with four replications. Data were collected for days to heading, plant height, leaf-to-stem ratio, forage dry matter (DM) yield, crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF), and plant vigor score in 2015, 2016 and 2017 at various developmental stages of crested wheatgrass. All measured traits differed significantly (P ≤ 0.05) among the accessions. Later maturing accessions showed positive associations with leaf-to-stem ratio (r = 0.23), NDF (r = 0.16) and ADF (r = 0.18). Forage DM yield was positively correlated with spring vigor (r = 0.77), leaf-to-stem ratio (r = 0.50), plant height (r = 0.56), regrowth (r = 0.67), and ADF (r = 0.11). There was a negative correlation between forage DM yield and CP concentration (r =  − 0.23). According to the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean and principal component analysis, the 45 crested wheatgrass accessions were grouped into three main clusters according to the agro-morphological and nutritive value data. Selection for late maturity in crested wheatgrass may lead to increase leaf-to-stem ratio and forage DM yield. Information obtained from this study on agro-morphological traits will be useful for future crested wheatgrass breeding in the region.


Agro-morphological traits Crested wheatgrass Days to heading Forage breeding Nutritive value 



Funding support was provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Saskatchewan-Canada Growing Forward 2 bilateral agreements, Western Grain Research Foundation, and Saskatchewan Forage Network (Grant No. 20140046).


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

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