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1 July 2018 Trait Response and Change in Genetic Variation Upon Selection for Spike Number in Salina Wildrye
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Abstract

Salina wildrye (Leymus salinus [M.E. Jones] Á. Löve) is a perennial cool-season grass that potentially could become an important restoration species in the Colorado Plateau. However, its seed production has never been commercially viable due to sparse heading. We compared a 4x ssp. salmonis population, Lakeside C3, to an 8x ssp. salinus population, 9043501, for seed production — related traits and measured the response of 9043501 to 2 cycles of selection for increased spike number over a 4-yr period at Millville, Utah. Seed yield of Lakeside and 9043501 was similar (P > 0.10) in 2013, but seed yield of 9043501 was 81% greater (P < 0.10) than Lakeside in 2014 and 191% greater (P < 0.01) in 2015. Lakeside spike number was 99% greater (P < 0.0001) than 9043501 in 2013, but they were similar (P > 0.10) in 2014 and 2015. Seeds per spike of 9043501 were 71% (P < 0.05), 80% (P < 0.05), and 209% (P < 0.01) greater than Lakeside in 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. Selection in 9043501 increased (P < 0.05) spike number by 4.3 spikes per plant (19.8%) per cycle of selection in the first seed-production yr (2013), but no change was seen in 2014 or 2015 (P > 0.10). Selection did not change (P > 0.10) seeds per spike or individual seed mass. Consequently, seed yield increased (P < 0.05) 0.32 g per plant per cycle (36.8%) in 2013, with no increase (P > 0.10) in 2014 or 2015. Dry matter per plant across the 4 yr increased (P < 0.01) 10.3 g per plant per cycle (9.3%), and canopy height increased (P < 0.01) 3.9 cm per cycle (6.6%) in 2013. AFLP DNA primers detected a 1.7% loss of genetic variation per cycle, presumably due to a combination of selection and genetic drift, but no plant traits were diminished as a result.

© 2018 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
T.A. Jones and S.R. Larson "Trait Response and Change in Genetic Variation Upon Selection for Spike Number in Salina Wildrye," Rangeland Ecology and Management 71(4), 443-448, (1 July 2018). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.03.005
Received: 20 November 2017; Accepted: 14 March 2018; Published: 1 July 2018
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