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Tray System for Measuring Drought Tolerance of Forage Grasses

Tischler, C. R., Voight, P. W., Young, B. A.
Crop science 1991 v.31 no.6 pp. 1696-1699
Eragrostis curvula, Panicum coloratum, introduced species, hybrids, screening, drought tolerance, measurement, germplasm, apomixis, forage crops, genotype
A soil-tray system used in conjunction with a growth chamber was evaluated and used to determine drought tolerance of hybrids of Eragrostis curvula var. confera Nees (boer lovegrass, 57-4-69) ✕ E. curvula (Schrad.) Nees (common weeping lovegrass) and Plant Introductions (PIs) of kleingrass (Panicum coloratum L.). The stress endpoint was based on a predetermined threshold gravimetric water loss. Results with the tray system agreed with field performance of genotypes with known drought tolerance. Plant 57-4-69 was as drought tolerant as ‘Catalina’ beer lovegrass (selected for seedling drought tolerance). Hybrids between 57-4-69 and common (not especially drought tolerant) exhibited a broad range of drought tolerance, whereas kleingrass PIs showed less variability in drought tolerance than the lovegrass. This system successfully identifies drought-tolerant germplasm in lovegrass.