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Persistence of dry matter yield among New Zealand perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cultivars: insights from a long-term data set.

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posted on 2023-05-03, 17:09 authored by David Chapman, Paul Muir, Marty FavilleMarty Faville
Persistence of herbage yield is an important productivity trait of grass species and cultivars in New Zealand pastures. However, relatively little is known about genetic variation in this trait, principally because few studies comparing yield have continued beyond 3 years. This paper reports results from a comparison of 25 perennial ryegrass cultivars representing a wide range of functional types and genetic backgrounds conducted under sheep grazing in a summer-dry environment. Dry matter (DM) yield was measured for the first 3 years after sowing, then again in years seven and eight post-sowing, and in year ten post-sowing. Endophyte DNA fingerprinting conducted mid-way through year seven confirmed that, with one exception, ryegrass populations remained true-to-type in the cultivars sown with novel endophyte strains. The cultivar effect on DM yield was statistically significant in all measurement periods. Differences in yields among cultivars in years seven and eight were significantly and positively correlated with yield differences in years one to three (r=0.685 to 0.831 depending on which year contrasts were used). Thus, high-performing cultivars in the early years of the trial were also generally highperforming cultivars in years seven and eight, and vice-versa, indicating a high degree of yield stability in perennial ryegrass cultivars. Yield differences did not appear to be related to differences in cultivar heading date, ploidy, endophyte status, or genetic background. The relationship between yield in year ten and yields in years one to three was much weaker (r=0.392) than the relationship in years seven and eight. Possible reasons for this are discussed.


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  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


NZ Grassland Association Inc.

Journal title

Journal of New Zealand Grasslands




Chapman, D. F., Muir, P. D., & Faville, M. J. (2015). Persistence of dry matter yield among New Zealand perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cultivars: insights from a long-term data set. Journal of New Zealand Grasslands, 77, 177–184.

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