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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Genetics, Breeding, and Ecology of Reed Canarygrass

Authors
item Casler, Michael
item Brummer, E - UNIV. OF GEORGIA
item Phillips, M - UW STEVENS POINT

Submitted to: Plant Breeding
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 4, 2010
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Reed canarygrass has been an important grass for hay production, soil conservation, and pastures in the USA since the late 1800s. It is tolerant of a wide range of environmental stresses, including drought, heat, and flooding. Breeding new varieties of reed canarygrass began in the 1950s by collecting plants from old pastures and selecting those with the best agronomic traits and seed production. In the 1970s, researchers discovered that livestock problems on reed canarygrass were due to alkaloid compounds in the leaf tissue. Thus began a revolution, changing commercial varieties of reed canarygrass completely to low-alkaloid types. Numerous studies have documented the health and productivity benefits of these new varieties to livestock agriculture. This article will be useful to other researchers interested in reed canarygrass.

Technical Abstract: Reed canarygrass has been an important grass for hay production, soil conservation, and pastures in the USA since the late 1800s. It is tolerant of a wide range of environmental stresses, including drought, heat, and flooding. Breeding new varieties of reed canarygrass began in the 1950s by collecting plants from old pastures and selecting those with the best agronomic traits and seed production. In the 1970s, researchers discovered that livestock problems on reed canarygrass were due to alkaloid compounds in the leaf tissue. Thus began a revolution, changing commercial varieties of reed canarygrass completely to low-alkaloid types. Numerous studies have documented the health and productivity benefits of these new varieties to livestock agriculture.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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