Track 1-02

Description

Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk is the single most important forage grass used for pastures in the tropics. This cultivar has exceptional adaptation to acid soils, vigorous growth, ease of establishment, and good forage value throughout the year, but these favourable characteristics are counteracted by its susceptibility to insect pests such as spittlebug. Breeding to produce improved cultivars within this species was impossible until 2009 due to the lack of compatible sexual ecotypes. With the success of somatic chromosome duplication of sexually reproducing diploid plants of B. decumbens (Simioni and Valle 2009), intraspecific crosses with natural apomictic tetraploid accessions were finally possible. This paper reports the results of the agronomic and nutritional evaluation of 50 preselected intraspecific hybrids of B. decumbens.

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Agronomic and Nutritional Evaluation of Intraspecific Crosses in Brachiaria decumbens

Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk is the single most important forage grass used for pastures in the tropics. This cultivar has exceptional adaptation to acid soils, vigorous growth, ease of establishment, and good forage value throughout the year, but these favourable characteristics are counteracted by its susceptibility to insect pests such as spittlebug. Breeding to produce improved cultivars within this species was impossible until 2009 due to the lack of compatible sexual ecotypes. With the success of somatic chromosome duplication of sexually reproducing diploid plants of B. decumbens (Simioni and Valle 2009), intraspecific crosses with natural apomictic tetraploid accessions were finally possible. This paper reports the results of the agronomic and nutritional evaluation of 50 preselected intraspecific hybrids of B. decumbens.