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Does the “high sugar” trait of perennial ryegrass cultivars express under temperate climate conditions?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalGrass and Forage Science
Issue number3
Early online date28 Jan 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Dec 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Sep 2019


The objective was to evaluate water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) and crude protein (CP) concentration of perennial ryegrass (PRG) cultivars with different genetic potential for producing WSC under two contrasting agronomic managements in temperate climate (southern Chile). A 4 × 2 factorial design was randomly allocated to 24 plots (31 m2 each, three blocks): four PRG cultivars (diploid standard cultivar, “2nSt”; tetraploid standard cultivar, “4nSt”; diploid high sugar cultivar developed in New Zealand, “2nHSNZ”; and tetraploid high sugar cultivar developed in Europe, “4nHSEU”) and two agronomic managements (“favourable,” defoliations at three leaves per tiller and nitrogen (N) fertilization rate of 83.3 kg N ha−1year−1; “unfavourable,” defoliations at two leaves per tiller and N fertilization rate of 250 kg N ha−1year−1). Herbage samples were collected in early spring, spring, summer and autumn. Concentration of WSC did not differ among cultivars in spring and summer, averaging 194 and 251 g/kg DM, respectively. The cultivar 4nHSEU had the greatest WSC concentration in early spring and autumn (187 and 266 g/kg DM, respectively) and the greatest CP concentration across samplings (average 230 g/kg DM). Favourable management improved WSC concentrations in early spring and summer and decreased CP in spring, summer and autumn. Annual DM yield did not vary with cultivar or management, averaging 8.43 t/ha. Within a 12-month study at one site in a temperate environment in southern Chile, PRG cultivars have not shown a consistent expression of the “high sugar” trait, where a genetic × environment interaction might be operating.

    Research areas

  • defoliation frequency, G  ×  E interaction, high sugar grass, temperate climate, water-soluble carbohydrates

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