This study had the objective of assessing the genetic divergence in giant missionary grass (Axonopus jesuiticus x A. scoparius) germplasm based on morphological and agronomic traits. Five accessions were evaluated in the field: V14337, V14403, V14404, V14405 and V14406. Three contrasting groups were formed using the UPGMA clustering method: V14337 and V14404 formed one group, V14403 and V14405 formed another, and V14406 was isolated from the other accessions. The most striking traits for the identification of the accessions were the height of the plant and the change color of the leaf. Only V14406 accession had purplish green leaves. The other four accessions differed with regards to plant height and dry matter production, with superiority of V14337 and V14404 accessions. The high similarity, as assessed by the mean Euclidean distance, suggests that V14337 and V14404 share the same genotype. The genotypic variability among accessions indicates their potential use in breeding programs.
biomass; canopy structure; giant missionary grass; morphological traits; nutritive value