Historic results of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) breeding include improved disease resistance, biomass, and nutritional quality. Yet, lack of tolerance to water stress limits its wide use. Recent efforts to increase water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) content in perennial ryegrass may increase drought tolerance. Herein, we report results of a multi-year and location evaluation of differing precipitation/irrigations levels on genetic and genotype × environment interaction effects of various agronomic traits in perennial ryegrass. The study included two UK environments (Aberystwyth, Wales and Edinburgh, Scotland) and four USA environments located in Logan, UT and consisting in four supplemental irrigation levels in a line-source irrigation design. Data included herbage dry matter, dry matter digestibility, crude protein, and WSC, collected from 2011 to 2013. There were differences (P < 0.05) among the included cultivars for each phenotype when evaluated across environments. There was observed cultivar × environment interaction for each phenotype, which precluded the identification of the best cultivar over all environments. Additive main effect and multiplicative interaction modeling allowed for grouping of the individual environments to mega-environments. The analysis identified three mega-environments for each phenotype: (1) the UK environments, (2) the two highest Logan irrigation levels, and (3) the two lowest Logan irrigation levels. Mega-environments designations corresponded to water stress, temperature, and inherent geographic/climate differences between the environments. The evidence for the potential of increased WSC to improve drought tolerance under water stress was inconclusive, but high WSC cultivars also exhibited high herbage production under the imposed water stress.
|Translated title of the contribution||Effeithiau math wrth amgylchedd mewn mathau o rhygwellt lluosflwydd a ddetholwyd ar gyfer lefelau uchel o carbyhydrad toddadwy mewn dwr o dan wahanol lefelau o glaw.|
|Number of pages||11|
|Early online date||01 Dec 2015|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Apr 2016|