Indexed on: 02 Mar '17Published on: 28 Feb '17Published in: Plant Breeding
This study was conducted to evaluate drought tolerance and persistence in a germplasm of smooth bromegrass and association of forage productivity with different traits. Thirty-six genotypes of smooth bromegrass were clonally propagated and evaluated under two soil moisture environments for three years (2013–2015). High genotypic variation was observed among genotypes for all the measured traits. Drought stress decreased mean values for traits related to productivity. Also, the long-term stress for three years reduced the persistence of plants. Results indicated that indirect selection based on components of forage yield, which had high heritability and high correlation with yield, would be more effective to improve drought tolerance in this germplasm. The results of principal component analysis showed that there was a negative relationship between phenological traits with the persistence-related traits and yield production. This suggests that selection for earliness may indirectly promote persistent genotypes. The results showed that some Hungarian genotypes are valuable gene sources for persistence. The most persistent genotypes from both groups (Iranian and foreign) were identified using the biplot method. These genotypes may be useful for the development of populations for future studies.