Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia
On-line version ISSN 1806-9290
MONTARDO, Daniel Portella; DALL'AGNOL, Miguel; CRUSIUS, Andréa Facchini and PAIM, Nilton Rodrigues. Path analysis for seed production in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2003, vol.32, n.5, pp.1076-1082. ISSN 1806-9290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-35982003000500007.
Red clover is a temperate legume species that shows good dry matter yield potential and forage quality, being indicated to supplement livestock animals during the cool season in the Southern part of Brazil. The objective of this experiment was to study seed yield in red clover through the use of path analysis, aiming to generate basic information to be used on breeding program or in management strategies, which lead to an increase on seed yield, natural reseeding and thus to a greater pasture persistence. The following variables were analyzed: seed yield, number of stems per plant, number of seed head per plant, number of seed head per stem and weight of one thousand seeds. The number of seed head per plant was the variable with the greatest correlation with seed yield (r = .710), basically through its direct effect on seed yield. The other variables showed smaller correlation coefficients with seed yield (r values from .175 to .578) as well as presented negative or small direct effects on it. Therefore, the number of seed head per plant showed to be the main characteristic to be considered when an increase in the red clover seed yield is required.
Keywords : forages; plant breeding; pastures; persistence.