, Volume 212, Issue 1, pp 111–130 | Cite as

Selection for productivity, persistence and drought tolerance in orchardgrass

  • Fatemeh Saeidnia
  • Mohammad Mahdi Majidi
  • Aghafakhr Mirlohi
  • Samane Shahidaval


This study was aimed to evaluate genetic diversity for drought tolerance and persistency of Iranian and foreign germplasm of orchardgrass. Thirty six genotypes of orchardgrass were clonally propagated and grown in the field under two moisture environments (normal and drought stress) for 3 years (2013–2015). High genotypic variation was observed among genotypes for all the measured traits, indicating a high potential for improving traits. Drought stress had negative effects on most of the measured traits and reduced genotypic variation. Low heritability for forage yield (average 21 %) suggested that indirect selection based on components of forage yield which had moderate to high heritabilities and high correlation with yield would be more effective. However, the order of priority of these components and their direct and indirect effects was different for normal and drought stress conditions. This suggested that indirect selection for development of high yielding drought-tolerant varieties should be performed under non-stress environment with a specific model. The results of principal component analysis showed that there was a negative relationship between phenological traits (days to ear emergence and days to anthesis) with the traits related to persistency and yield production. This indicates that selection for earliness in orchardgrass can improve productivity and persistency in orchardgrass. Contrasting genotypes were identified by biplot method that is useful for development of genetic populations for breeding studies of drought tolerance and persistency in orchardgrass.


Clonal evaluation Dactylis glomerata Moisture stress Persistency Selection 


  1. Aastiveit AH, Aastiveit K (1990) Theory and application of open pollination and polycross in forage grass. Theor Appl Genet 79:618–624Google Scholar
  2. Allen RG, L. Pereira S, Raes D, Smith M (1998) Crop evapotranspiration: Guidelines for computing crop requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56, Rome, Italy, p 300Google Scholar
  3. Amini F, Majidi MM, Mirlohi A (2013) Genetic and genotype × environment interaction analysis for agronomical and some morphological traits in half-Sib families of tall fescue. Crop Sci 53:411–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Annicchiarico P, Romani M (2005) Genetic variation, heritability and genetic correlations for forage quality and yield traits of Mediterranean tall fescue germplasm. Plant Breed 124:99–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Annicchiaricoa P, Pecetti L, Bouzerzourb H, Kallidac R, Khedimd A, Porqueddue C, Simõesf NM, Volaireg F, Lelièvreg F (2011) Adaptation of contrasting cocksfoot plant types to agricultural environments across the Mediterranean basin. Environ Exp Bot 74:82–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arabi AA, Kashif M, Ahmad D (2008) Study of genetic architecture of quantitative traits in hulless barley genotypes. J Plant Genet 17:144–151Google Scholar
  7. Araghi B, Barati M, Majidi MM, Mirlohi A (2014) Application of half-sib mating for genetic analysis of forage yield and related traits in Bromus inermis. Euphytica 196:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Araujo MRA (2001) Variation and heritability in meadow bromegrass (Bromus riparius Rehm.). PhD thesis, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  9. Araujo MRA, Coulman BE, Rakow G (2002) Genetic variation, heritability and progeny testing in meadow bromegrass. Plant Breed 121:417–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blum A (2011) Plant breeding for water-limited environments. CRC, Boca Raton, pp 163–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Breese EL, Hayward MD (1972) The genetic basis of present breeding methods in forage crops. Euphytica 21:324–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Byrne PF, Bolanos J, Edmeades GO, Eaton DL (1995) Gains from selection under drought versus multi-location testing in related tropical maize populations. Crop Sci 35:63–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Clarke Topp C, Parkin GW, Ferre TPA (2008) Soil water content. In: Carter MR, Gregorich EG (eds) Soil sampling and methods of analysis. Can Soc Soil Sci, PinawaGoogle Scholar
  14. Dehghani MR, Majidi MM, Mirlohi A, Amiri R, Sorkhilalehloo B (2015a) Application of GGE biplot to analyse stability of Iranian tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum) genotypes. Crop Pasture Sci 66:963–972Google Scholar
  15. Dehghani MR, Majidi MM, Mirlohi A, Saeidi Gh (2015b) Integrating parametric and non-parametric measures to investigate genotype × environment interactions in tall fescue. Euphytica. doi: 10.1007/s10681-015-1611-0 Google Scholar
  16. Destro M, Miglioranza E, Aria CAA, Vandram JM, De-Almieda JCV (2001) Main stem and tiller contribution to wheat cultivars yield under different irrigation regimes. Braz Arch Biol Technol 44:325–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ebrahimiyan M, Majidi MM, Mirlohi A (2012) Genotypic variation and selection of traits related to forage yield in tall fescue under irrigated and drought stress environments. Grass Forage Sci 68:59–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eshghi R, Akhundova E (2010) Genetic diversity in hulless barley based on agromorphological traits and RAPD markers and comparison with storage protein analysis. Afr J Agric Res 5:97–107Google Scholar
  19. Falconer D (1989) Introduction to quantitative genetics, 3rd edn. Longman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Falconer DS, Mackay TFC (1996) Introduction to quantitative genetics. Longman, Harlow, UKGoogle Scholar
  21. Fernandez GCJ (1992) Effective selection criteria for assessing plant stress tolerance. In: Kuo CC (ed) Proceeding of an International Symposium on Adaptation of Food Crops to Temperature and Water Stress. AVRDC, Shanhua, Taiwan, pp 257–270Google Scholar
  22. Finne MA, Rognli OA, Schjelderup I (2000) Genetic variation in a Norwegian germplasm collection of white clover (Trifolium repens L.): Correlation and path coefficient analysis of agronomic characters. Euphytica 112:57–68CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fischer RA, Mourer R (1978) Drought resistance in spring wheat cultivar, I: grain yield responses. Aust J Agric Res 29:897–912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gavuzzi P, Rizza F, Palumbo M, Campaline RG, Ricciardi GL, Borghi B (1997) Evaluation of field and laboratory predictors of drought and heat tolerance in winter cereals. Can J Plant Sci 77:523–531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gular M, Adak MS, Ulukan H (2001) Determining relationships among yield and some yield components using path coefficient analysis in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.). Eur J Agron 14:161–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gustafson DI (2011) Climate change: a crop protection challenge for the twenty first century. Pest Manag Sci 67:691–696CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Hao ZF, Li XH, Su ZJ, Xie CX, Li MS, Liang XL, Weng JF, Zhang DG, Li L, Zhang S (2011) A proposed selection criterion for drought resistance across multiple environments in maize. Breed Sci 61:101–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hovin AW, Marten GC, Stucker RE (1976) Cell wall constituents of reed canarygrass: genetic variability and relationship to digestibility and yield. Crop Sci 16:575–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Iannucci A, Fonzo ND, Martiniello P (2002) Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) seed yield and quality under different forage management systems and irrigation treatments in a Mediterranean environment. Field Crop Res 78:65–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Irani S, Majidi MM, Mirlohi A (2015) Half-sib matting and genetic analysis of agronomic, morphological and physiological traits in Sainfoin under non-stressed versus water-deficit conditions. Crop Sci 55:123–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Jafari A, Naseri H (2007) Genetic variation and correlation among yield and quality traits in cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.). J Agric Sci 145:599–610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Jalata Z, Ayana A, Zeleke H (2011) Variability, heritability and genetic advance for some yield and yield related traits in Ethiopian barley (Hodeum vulgare L.) landraces and crosses. Int J Plant Breed Genet 5:44–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jiang LF, Qi X, Zhang XQ, Huang LK, Ma X, Xie WG (2014) Analysis of diversity and relationships among orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) accessions using start codon-targeted markers. Genet Mol Res 13(2):4406–4418CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Johnson RA, Wichern DW (2007) Applied multivariate statistical analysis. Prentice Hall International, Upper Saddle River, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  35. Kanapeckas J, Tarakanovas P, Lemebiene A (2005) Variability, heritability and correlations of genetic resources in meadow fescue. Biol J 3:10–14Google Scholar
  36. Karcher DE, Richardson MD, Hignight K, Rush D (2008) Drought tolerance of tall fescue populations selected for high root/shoot ratios and summer survival. Crop Sci 48:771–777CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kearsey MJ, Pooni HS (1996) The genetical analysis of quantitative traits. Chapman and Hall, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Leièvre F, Volaire F (2009) Current and potential development of perennial grasses in rainfed Mediterranean farming systems. Crop Sci 49:2371–2378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Leilah AA, Al-Khateeb SA (2005) Statistical analysis of wheat yield under drought conditions. J Arid Environ 61:483–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Majidi MM, Mirlohi A, Amini F (2009) Genetic variation, heritability and correlations of agro-morphological traits in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Euphytica 167:323–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Majidi MM, Araghi B, Barati M, Mirlohi A (2014) Polycross genetic analysis of forage yield and related traits in Dactylis glomerata. Crop Sci 55:203–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Majidi MM, Hoseini B, Abtahi M, Mirlohi A, Araghi B (2015) Genetic analysis of seed related traits in orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) under normal and drought stress conditions. Euphytica 203:409–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Martinez-Calvo J, Gisbert AD, Alamar MC, Hernandorena R, Romero C, Llacer G, Badenes ML (2008) Study of a germplasm collection of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl.) by multivariate analysis. Genet Resour Crop Evol 55:695–703CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mcdonald MB, Copeland LO, Knapp AD, Grabe DF (1996) Seed development, germination and quality. In: Moser LE, Buxton DR, Casler MD (eds) Cool season forage grasses. ASA-CSSA-SS, Madison, pp 15–70Google Scholar
  45. Mehri N, Fotovat R, Saba J, Jabbari F (2009) Variation in stomatal dimension and densities in tolerant and susceptible wheat cultivars under drought stress. J Food Agric Environ 7:167–170Google Scholar
  46. Mitra J (2001) Genetics and genetic improvement of drought resistance in crop plants. Curr Sci 80:758–762Google Scholar
  47. Mohammadi R, Khayyam-Nekouei M, Majidi MM, Mirlohi AF (2010) Estimation of yield potential and genetic variation of Orchard grass genotypes (Dactylic glomerata). ESci J Crop Prod 2:139–158Google Scholar
  48. Montgomery DC (2006) Introduction to linear regression analysis. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  49. Nguyen HT, Sleper DA (1983) Theory and application of half sib matings in forage grass breeding. Theor Appl Genet 64:187–196CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Norton MR, Lelievre F, Volaire F (2006) Summer dormancy in Dactylis glomerata L.: The influence of season of sowing and a simulated mid-summer storm on 2 contrasting cultivars. Aust J Agric Res 57:565–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nyquist WE (1991) Estimation of heritability and prediction of selection response in plant populations. Crit Rev Plant Sci 10:235–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pecetti L, Annicchiarico P, Abdelguerfi A, Kallida R, Mefti M, Porqueddu C, Simo˜es NM, Volaire F, Lelie`vre F (2011) Response of mediterranean tall fescue cultivars to contrasting agricultural environments and implications for selection. J Agron Crop Sci 197:12–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Peng Y, Zhang X, Deng Y, Ma X (2008) Evaluation of genetic diversity in wild orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) based on AFLP markers. Hereditas 145:174–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Piano E, Annicchiarico P, Romani M, Pecetti L (2007) Genetic variation and heritability of forage yield in Mediterranean tall fescue. Plant Breed 126:644–646CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ponsens J, Hanson J, Schellberg J, Moeseler BM (2010) Characterization of phenotypic diversity, yield and response to drought stress in a collection of Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana Kunth) accessions. Field Crop Res 118:57–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rumbaugh MO, Asay KH, Johnson OA (1984) Influence of drought stress on genetic variance of alfalfa and wheat grass seedling. Crop Sci 24:297–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sanada Y, Gras MC, Van Santen E (2010) Cocksfoot. In: Boller BU, Posselt K, Veronesi DF (eds) Fodder crops and amenity grasses, handbook of plant breeding, vol 5. Springer, New York, pp 317–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. SAS Institute (2002) The SAS system for Windows. Release 8.2. SAS Institute, Inc, CaryGoogle Scholar
  59. Srinivasan A, Johansen C, Saxena NP (1998) Cold tolerance during early reproductive growth of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L): characterization of stress and genetic variation in pod set. Field Crop Res 57:181–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Staniak M, Kocon A (2015) Forage grasses under drought stress in conditions of Poland. Acta physiol Plant 37:116. doi: 10.1007/s11738-015-1864-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Statgraphics (2007) Statgraphics. Version 15.2.11: Stat Point IncGoogle Scholar
  62. Steel RGD, Torrie JG (1980) Principles and procedures of statistics, 2nd edn. McGraw–Hill Book Co, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  63. Stewart AV, Ellison NW (2011) Dacytlis. In: Kole C (ed) Wild crop relatives: Genomic and breeding resources: Millets and grasses. Springer, Berlin, pp 73–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tabassum MI, Saleem M, Akbar M, Ashraf MY, Mahmood N (2007) Combining ability studies in maize under normal and water stress conditions. J Agric Res 45:261–269Google Scholar
  65. Talebi R, Fayyaz F, Mohammad-Najia A (2010) Genetic variation and interrelationships of agronomic characteristics in durum wheat under two constructing water regimes. Braz Arch Biol Technol 53:785–791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tanksley SD, McCouch SR (1997) Seed banks and molecular maps: unlocking genetic potential from the wild. Science 277:1063–1066CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Trenberth KE (2011) Changes in precipitation with climate change. Clim Res 47:123–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Verma AK, Vishwakarma SR, Singh PK (2007) Genetic architecture for yield and quality component traits over two environments in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Barley Genet Newsl 37:24–28Google Scholar
  69. Volaire F (2008) Morpho-physiological traits associated with drought survival in bi-specific perennial herbaceous swards. Options Mediterr Ser A. 79:357–360Google Scholar
  70. Volaire F, Lelievre F (1997) Production, persistence, and water soluble carbohydrate accumulation in 21 contrasted populations of Dactylis glomerata L. subjected to severe droughts in the south of France. Aust J Agric Res 48:933–944CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Volaire F, Conejero G, Lelievre F (2001) Drought survival and dehydration tolerance in Dactylis glomerata and Poa bulbosa. Aust J Plant Physiol 28:743–754Google Scholar
  72. Volaire F, Norton MR, Norton GM, Lelievre F (2005) Seasonal patterns of growth, dehydrins and water-soluble carbohydrates in genotypes of cocksfoot varying in summer dormancy. Ann Bot 95:981–990CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  73. Wilkins PW (1985) Breeding for dry matter yield in perennial ryegrass by wild hybridization and recurrent selection. In: Proceeding of the 2th EUCARPIA Fodder Crop Meeting, SavaloGoogle Scholar
  74. Wricke G, Weber WE (1986) Quantitative genetics and selection in plant breeding. Walter de Gruyter, New York, p 406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Xie WG, Zhang XQ, Cai HW, Liu W, Peng Y (2010) Genetic diversity analysis and transferability of cereal EST-SSR markers to orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.). Biochem Syst Ecol 38:740–749CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatemeh Saeidnia
    • 1
  • Mohammad Mahdi Majidi
    • 1
  • Aghafakhr Mirlohi
    • 1
  • Samane Shahidaval
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy and Plant Breeding, College of AgricultureIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran

Personalised recommendations