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Growth dynamics of the branching system in grasses: an architecture-based methodology for quantitative evaluation applied to two genotypes of Paspalum vaginatum


The aerial growth dynamics of the shoots of the widespread turfgrass Paspalum vaginatum was studied. With the aim of identifying quantitative differential features between two genotypes, plants were cultivated outdoors in pots during two consecutive summers. Axes of different branching order were marked for periodical observation to quantify internode production rate, axis production rate, covering rate and reproductive effort. The genotypes differed significantly in the following quantitative features: plagiotropic vs. orthotropic axes proportion, internode production rate, flowering vs. vegetative tiller ratio, vegetative cover and spatial distribution of the canopy. Knowledge of these features may help to understand the great plasticity and adaptability of this species to multiple environmental conditions.

Key words:
meristem allocation; morphology; phenotypic plasticity; plant architecture; seashore paspalum

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