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Efficiency of Indirect Selection for Dry Matter Yield Based on Fresh Matter Yield in Perennial Ryegrass Sward Plots

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Forage dry matter yield (DMY) is a high-priority trait in breeding perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). However, determining dry matter concentration is highly labor intensive. For a similar level of resources, indirect selection based on fresh matter yield (FMY) would allow a greater number of replicates, genotypes, or both to be evaluated. Our objective was to estimate the efficiency of indirect selection for DMY based on FMY of pure perennial ryegrass sward plots. Over a 14-yr period, replicated trials, containing perennial ryegrass genotypes of similar ploidy and maturity category, were sown in Ireland and assessed for DMY and FMY at each harvest over two consecutive years. Forage was generally surface dry when harvested. The estimated efficiency of indirect selection based on two replicates and comparable selection intensity was high (>or= 0.80). Simulation models indicated that resources would be used more efficiently by evaluating more genotypes than by increasing the number of replicates. For example, doubling the number of plots to increase the number of replicates from two to four indicated an increase in the efficiency of indirect selection from a mean 0.88 to 0.94. However, doubling the number of plots and including more genotypes, facilitating greater selection intensity, indicated an increase in the efficiency of indirect selection from a mean 0.88 to 1.04. This study indicates that FMY can be used successfully as an indirect selection method of increasing DMY in perennial ryegrass swards.
Conaghan, P. , Casler, M.D. , O'Kiely, P. , Dowley, L.J.
Includes references
Crop science 2008 Jan-Feb, v. 48, no. 1
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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