Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 1737–1747 | Cite as

Collection and morphological characterization of Panicum coloratum L. in Argentina

  • Lorena V. Armando
  • Alicia D. Carrera
  • María A. Tomas
Notes on Neglected and Underutilized Crops


Panicum coloratum (Poaceae) is a perennial grass native to South Africa, distributed all over the world, but poorly adopted by ranchers in Argentina. Adapted to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions, it constitutes a good forage resource for zones with edaphic and climatic restrictions, where cattle rising activities are here displaced. The high polymorphism in the species has made it difficult to delineate sub specific taxonomic categories. It has been classified in botanical varieties, types and/or cultivars. In order to document the morphological variability in P. coloratum and to investigate the differences between var. makarikariense and var. coloratum, a collection was gathered in INTA Rafaela composed by fourteen accessions from different provinces of Argentina: six accessions of var. makarikariense and eight from var. coloratum. The evaluation of 152 individuals gives evidence of a wide morphological variation in the collection in traits related to forage and caryopses production; seven out of nine traits showed significant differences between var. makarikariense and var. coloratum. Based on the study of local type specimens, a morphological key to distinguish between P. coloratum varieties is provided. These results report new information about the diversity in P. coloratum in Argentina and provide valuable insights for future use of the collection as the base material of a breeding program.


Diversity Key to varieties Panicum coloratum var. makarikariense var. coloratum Warm-season grass 



A fellowship to L. V. Armando from the National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET) is acknowledged. Authors wish to thank E. Burgos, M. Giordano, L. Cardamone, B. Tolozano and C. Barrios for their technical support in data gathering and to G. Berone, M. Pisani and N. Dreher for their help in the collection trip. We give special thanks to the people and institutions that contributed with materials for our collection. Authors are grateful to Dr J. Pensiero for their taxonomic support. Thanks are also due to Dr K. Hammer, Editor in Chief and two anonymous reviewers for their critical comments and suggestion. Financial support was provided by National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), Project AEFP 26182.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorena V. Armando
    • 1
  • Alicia D. Carrera
    • 2
    • 3
  • María A. Tomas
    • 4
  1. 1.CONICET-Instituto Nacional de Tecnología AgropecuariaINTA-EEARafaelaArgentina
  2. 2.Departamento de AgronomíaUniversidad Nacional del SurBahía BlancaArgentina
  3. 3.Centro de Recursos Naturales Renovables de la Zona SemiaridaCERZOS-CCT-CONICETBahía BlancaArgentina
  4. 4.Instituto Nacional de Tecnología AgropecuariaINTA-EEARafaelaArgentina

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