Agronomic, leaf anatomy, morphology, endophyte presence and ploidy characterization of accessions of Festuca group rubra collected in northern Spain
AbstractFifteen accessions of Festuca group rubra collected in northern Spain were characterized and grouped into four Festuca taxa on the basis of leaf anatomy, morphology and ploidy; seven were identified as F. heteromalla; two as F. trichophylla ssp. asperifolia; two as F. nigrescens ssp. microphylla and four as F. rubra ssp. pruinosa. All the accessions and one commercial cultivar ‘Wilma’ (F. nigrescens ssp. nigrescens), used as control, were established at the Mabegondo Agronomical Research Centre, A Coruña (Galicia) in a completely randomised block design with three replicates of 10 plants per accession. The plants were agronomically characterized for seven traits during 2004 and 2005. Cluster analysis was useful in identifying four clusters that described 66.5% of the phenotypic variation. Cluster 1 consisted of nine accessions with early heading, intermediate values of green colour and tolerance to crown rust in autumn and the highest seasonal growth. Cluster 2 contained two accessions with intermediate values of heading, green colour, good tolerance to crown rust in autumn and intermediate seasonal growth. Cluster 3 contained two accessions and the cultivar Wilma, which showed early heading, dark green colour, good tolerance to crown rust in autumn and spring and intermediate seasonal growth. Cluster 4 consisted of two late heading accessions with dark green colour, and the best tolerance to crown rust in autumn and intermediate seasonal growth. Thirteen of the 15 accessions (86.6%) were infected by fungal endophytes, with the degree of infection ranging from 2 to 73%.
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