Effect of ploidy on yield and quality of pearl millet x napiergrass hybrids pennisetum americanum x pennisetum purpureum

Hanna, W.W.; Gaines, T.P.; Gonzalez, B.; Monson, W.G.

Agronomy Journal 76(6): 969-971


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-1962
DOI: 10.2134/agronj1984.00021962007600060024x
Accession: 005262344

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The highly male and female sterile triploid pearl millet [P. americanum (L.) Leeke] .times. napiergrass (P. purpureum Schum.) interspecific hybrids produce high yields of high quality forage. Colchicine induced hexaploids are male and female fertile and morphologically resemble the triploids. Information concerning the effects of increased ploidy on agronomic, quality, and elemental factors of the forage is limited. In 1979 and 1980, triploid and hexaploid clones of several interspecific hybrids were established in the field on a Fuquay soil (loamy, siliceous, thermic Arenic Plinthic Paleudults) and evaluated for dry matter yield, concentrations of dry matter, in vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD), crude protein, total sugars, cell wall, and the elements, P, K, Mg, Ca, Mn, Zn, Fe and Cu. Triploids on the average had higher dry matter yields, and dry matter and protein concentrations than hexaploids. At anthesis, 3x plants were equal to or higher than 6x plants while at the vegetative stage 6x plants were generally higher than or equal to 3x plants in IVDMD. No differences were observed between 3x and 6x plants for total sugars and cell wall. Significant differences for elemental concentrations between ploidy levels were observed in 1980 for P (6x > 3x), K (6x > 3x), and Fe (3x > 6x). These differences were not consistent for all clones. Increased ploidy from 3x to 6x in this study generally had a neutral or negative effect on the characters studied. Triploids have the potential to produce higher yields of higher quality forage than hexaploids.