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Euphytica

, Volume 167, Issue 1, pp 95–105 | Cite as

Genetic variability and interrelationships of seed yield and yield components in switchgrass

  • Modan K. Das
  • Charles M. Taliaferro
Article

Abstract

Information on the genetic variability of seed yield and yield components is limited and no information is available on correlations among seed yield and yield components and direct and indirect effects of the yield components on seed yield in switchgrass, Panicum virgatum L. Accordingly, we conducted replicated experiments at Chickasha and Perkins, OK, in 1998 involving 11 lowland type switchgrass populations to assess genetic variation for seed yield and yield components, quantify interrelationships among them, and determine direct and indirect effects of yield components on seed yield through path coefficient analysis to identify traits for indirect selection of seed yield. Significant (P ≤ 0.01) variation existed among the 11 populations over locations for percent seed set and 100-seed weight. Seed yield/plant and the seed yield components panicle number/plant, spikelet number/panicle, and seed number/panicle had significant (P ≤ 0.05) population × location interactions, indicating substantial environmental influence on these traits for these populations. Accordingly, data for these traits were analyzed separately for each location revealing significant (P ≤ 0.01) differences among populations at both locations for each of these traits. Phenotypic correlation between seed yield/plant and seed number/panicle was positive (r = 0.76** at Chickasha and r = 0.72** at Perkins). Path coefficient analyses revealed that seed number/panicle had the highest positive direct effect on seed yield at both locations. Ample genetic variability was present among the switchgrass populations studied to allow breeding improvement of seed yield. Selection for increased seed number/panicle would be the most effective means of indirectly selecting for higher seed yield within this germplasm. Correlation and path coefficient analyses among biomass yield, seed yield, and harvest index indicated that, at least within the switchgrass germplasm studied, it would be possible to breed switchgrass cultivars with enhanced biomass yielding ability and sufficient seed production capability for their commercial propagation.

Keywords

Switchgrass Genetic variability Path coefficient Seed yield Indirect selection Panicumvirgatum L. Harvest index 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank Gary Williams, Sharon Williams and Rose Edwards for technical assistance. Research support was provided by the Biofuels Feedstock Development Program, US Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant & Soil SciencesOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Seeds West, Inc.MaricopaUSA

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