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Phenotypic variation in natural populations of kikuyu in Australia

Lowe, K.F. and Sinclair, K. and Holton, T.A. and Skabo, S.J. (2007) Phenotypic variation in natural populations of kikuyu in Australia. Tropical Grasslands, 41 (3). pp. 238-239.

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Publisher URL: http://www.tropicalgrasslands.asn.au

Abstract

The quality of tropical grasses is a major limitation to animal production in tropical and subtropical areas. This is mainly associated with the lower digestibility because C4 grasses have higher fibre levels. Any improvement in quality would require a reduction in the lignin and an increase in the digestion of the neutral detergent fibre content of these plants (Clark and Wilson 1993). Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) is an important grass for the dairy and beef industries of the subtropics of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand (Mears 1970). Increased digestibility could substantially improve animal production in these industries. These experiments investigated the variation in agronomic and quality of natural populations selected from diverse regions within Australia.
Runners of 14 kikuyu selections were collected by project staff or local agronomists from areas considered to have grown kikuyu for over 30 years while Whittet and Noonan were established by seed. Entries were established as single spaced plants on a 1.5 m grid in a randomised block with 3 replicates and evaluated under irrigation at Mutdapilly (brown podsol) and Wollongbar (red ferrosol). Foliage height, forage production and runner yield were assessed along with crude protein (CP), in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD), metabolisable energy (ME), acid detergent fibre (ADF) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF) content of the leaf in autumn, winter and spring.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Animal Science, Emerging Technologies
Additional Information:© Tropical Grassland Society of Australia Inc.
Keywords:Australia; Kikuyu; phenotypic variation.
Subjects:Science > Botany > Spermatophyte. Phanerogams > Angiosperms
Deposited On:25 Feb 2009 03:51
Last Modified:09 Jun 2011 23:48

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