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Agronomic and botanical components associated with seed productivity of Kentucky bluegrass

Ensign, R.D., Everson, D.O., Dickinson, K.K., Woollen, R.L.
Crop science 1989 v.29 no.1 pp. 82-86
reproduction, Poa pratensis, selection criteria, seeds, crop yield, agronomic traits, yield components, phenotypic correlation, strains, cultivars, repeatability, Idaho
Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) is a genetically complex perennial plant and evaluation of early generation breeding material for potential seed productivity is difficult. Twenty eight agronomic and botanical components were studied for their association with seed productivity during a 6-yr field experiment grown near Moscow, ID. The soil was a Latahco silt loam (fine silty mixed, frigid agriaquic Xeric Argialbollo). Using 15 diverse cultivars or experimental strains, our research indicated that several components of the blue-grass plant were important indicators of seed productivity. Seed weight/panicle and seeds/panicle were most highly correlated (r = 0.68 and 0.67) with seed yields. Components indicating early stages of maturity, vigor at anthesis, leaf blade length, panicle length, spikelets/panicle, number of panicles/plant, and harvest date were also highly correlated (r greater than 0.54) with seed yields. The magnitude of some correlations varied among years indicating environment-specific associations. Path analysis for each of the 3 yr showed that full heading date, number of panicles, and seed weight/panicle accounted for 65% of the variation in a high seed-yielding year. However, for drought stressed years, the model accounted for approximately 90% of the variation in seed yield.