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Variability of selected traits in meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) plants with different susceptibility to seed shattering
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1  University of Agriculture in Krakow, Faculty of Agriculture and Economics, Department of Plant Breeding, Physiology and Seed Science

Published: 06 May 2021 by MDPI in 1st International Electronic Conference on Agronomy session Posters

In meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.), a perennial fodder grass plant characterized by high quality and yield potential, seed shattering makes seed production difficult. The objective of the research was to compare two subpopulations, differing in a tendency to seed shattering, in respect of variability in the beginning of the heading and flowering stages, morphological traits (plant height and panicle length), and changes occurring at the site of the bonding between the caryopsis and the pedicel. The subpopulations were obtained by divergent selection carried out in the years 2008-2011 on four meadow fescue cultivars. The selected genotypes were cloned and tested in the years 2011-2017, and further selection was performed. Significant variability in years and subpopulations in respect of the tested traits was found. The subpopulation with a low tendency to seed shattering was characterized by a 2-3-day delay in the beginning of the heading and flowering stages. However, in both the subpopulations good flowering stage synchronization was found, its variability being several times smaller compared with the heading stage. Between the starting dates of these stages a significant correlation was found (r=0.828; p<0.01). The clones with a high tendency to seed shattering were approximately 7 cm shorter, while the length of panicles was similar in both the subpopulations. The analysis with the use of a scanning microscope showed that in genotypes with a low tendency to shattering the formation of the abscission layer was four days late, which may confirm the effectiveness of the carried out selection.

Keywords: abscission;Festuca pratensis;flowering;heading;morphological traits;seed shattering