Assessment of Phenotypic and Genetic Diversity and Relative Nuclear DNA Content in Festuca arundinacea

Document Type : scientific research article


1 Assistant Prof., Dept. of Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Prof., Dept. of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran

3 Professor, Research Institutes of Forests and Rangelands, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Festuca species grow in Iran and widespread occurrence of polyploidy has an important role in the evolution of this group. Festuca arundinacea belong to the grass family and include different species that used as forage, turf grass and for soil conservation. The aim of this work was the study of changing in DNA content morphological and phenological traits in different genotypes of F. arundinacea which collected from different regions.
Material and Methods: This experiment was conducted using a complete block design with 3 replications. Genetic parameters were estimated for all traits including Day to head emergence, Flowering date, Plant height, Number of. stem per plant, Spike length, 1000-seed weight, Germination percentage, Germination rate, Germination vigor, Stability, Forage yield, Seed yield, Seed weight per stem, Harvest Index, Number of seed per plant. Three-week-old plants, fluorochrome DAPI and Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Sultan (2C= 11.12 pg) as an internal standard for DNA content measurement were used.
Results: Evaluation of genetic parameters indicated that the difference between PCV and GCV was low for days to head emergence, flowering date, number of stem per plant, germination percentage, number of seed per plant, 1000-seed weight, germination rate, germination vigor and plant height, which clearly indicated the role of genetic variance was higher than the environmental variance. On the other hand, heritability was ranged between 66-95%. High broad-sense heritability was also observed for all the characters except spike length which indicate selection-based methods have high efficiency for these traits. Due to the low difference between PCV and GCV, high heritability and high genetic advance for days to head emergence, flowering date and germination vigor, it can be concluded that these traits are controlled by additive genetic action and can be improved through selective breeding programs. ANOVA results for relative nuclear DNA amount showed a significant difference between studied genotypes which suggest there is a high intraspecies variation for various genotypes in the different regions. The results of the mean comparison showed that the genotypes can be categorized into 7 separate groups. The highest and lowest relative amount of nuclear DNA was in (G13, G20, G21) and (G22, G16) genotypes respectively. According to previous studies, the change in the relative amount of nuclear DNA can be attributed to the presence of chromosome B and change the length of the chromosome.
Conclusion: It is suggested that day to head emergence, flowering date and germination vigor traits to be used for plant breeding programs. Moreover, the change in relative DNA content and morphological-phenological traits can be considered factors in the evolution of F.arundinacea and adaptation to varying environmental condition.


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