Track 1-02

Description

Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk is the most planted pasture grass in the tropics owing to its adaptation to poor and acid soils, typical of the tropics, plus good animal performance. This cultivar was responsible for a radical change of scenario in central Brazil in the early 1970s and is the only cultivar available commercially. Efforts to breed this species have been recent, as the successful somatic chromosome duplication of sexually reproducing diploid plants of B. decumbens was accomplished only in 2009 (Simioni and Valle 2009). Subsequently, intraspecific crosses with natural apomictic tetraploid accessions were carried out. Breeding is needed since cv. Basilisk is susceptible to grassland spittlebugs, which limit its widespread use. A recurrent selection scheme has been devised to improve the species and the first progeny are now under evaluation. This paper reports the preliminary results of the agronomic evaluation of 324 intraspecific hybrids of B. decumbens.

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Agronomic Evaluation of 324 Intraspecific Hybrids of Brachiaria decumbens in Brazil

Brachiaria decumbens cv. Basilisk is the most planted pasture grass in the tropics owing to its adaptation to poor and acid soils, typical of the tropics, plus good animal performance. This cultivar was responsible for a radical change of scenario in central Brazil in the early 1970s and is the only cultivar available commercially. Efforts to breed this species have been recent, as the successful somatic chromosome duplication of sexually reproducing diploid plants of B. decumbens was accomplished only in 2009 (Simioni and Valle 2009). Subsequently, intraspecific crosses with natural apomictic tetraploid accessions were carried out. Breeding is needed since cv. Basilisk is susceptible to grassland spittlebugs, which limit its widespread use. A recurrent selection scheme has been devised to improve the species and the first progeny are now under evaluation. This paper reports the preliminary results of the agronomic evaluation of 324 intraspecific hybrids of B. decumbens.