Cytology, Reproductive Behavior, and Forage Potential of Hexaploid Dallisgrass Biotypes
During the past 25 yr, several different dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum Poir.) biotypes have been discovered, but little is known regarding their cytology and reproductive behavior. This study was undertaken to determine the cytology, method of reproduction, and fertility of three biotypes and the forage yield and quality of two of them. Two biotypes, Torres and Uruguaiana, were introduced from southern Brazil and the third, Uruguayan, was collected in Uruguay. All three are hexaploids with 2n = 6x = 60. The Torres biotype was meiotically irregular, with a mean chromosome association of 58.74 univalents and 0.63 bivalents per cell. Two accessions of the Uruguaiana biotype were studied; they had a mean meiotic chromosome association of 9.62 univalents, 25.17 bivalents, and 0.01 quadrivalents. Eleven accessions of the Uruguayan biotype were studied; their mean chromosome associations were 1.26 univalents, 29.28 bivalents, and 0.04 quadrivalents. It was proposed that the lack of chromosome pairing in the Torres biotype is genetically controlled. The genomic formulas of the Uruguaiana and Uruguayan biotypes are proposed to be AABBC1C2 and AABBCC, respectively. An examination of megasporogenesis and embryo sac development revealed that all three biotypes reproduce by apomixis, with apospory followed by pseudogamy. One Uruguayan accession was a facultative apomict with a small degree of sexuality. The forage yield potential and forage quality were determined for the Torres and Uruguayan biotypes, as well as for common dallisgrass. Torres produced less forage than the other two. Common dallisgrass produced less forage than the mean of the Uruguayan accessions in most environments. In vitro dry matter disappearance (IVDMD) differences among accessions were relatively small. Common dallisgrass did not differ in IVDMD from any of the Uruguayan accessions.
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