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Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0100-204XOn-line version ISSN 1678-3921


SOBRINHO, Fausto de et al. Agronomic evaluation of interespecific hybrids of elephant grass and pearlmillet. Pesq. agropec. bras. [online]. 2005, vol.40, n.9, pp.873-880. ISSN 1678-3921.

The objective of this work was to evaluate the agronomic performance of hybrid from elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) and pearlmillet (P. glaucum (E.) Leek) in order to determine its potential for forage enhancement. Twelve cultivars of pearlmillet and 11 clones of elephant grass were crossed using a partial dialel design. The 132 hybrids combinations along with two test hybrids were evaluated in casual block design experiment with three replications. Dry matter production, plant height, dry matter percent, leaf:stem relation and forage quality information, such as crude protein, fiber percentage in neutral and in acid detergent and in vitro organic matter digestibility were recorded. There was variability between the interspecific hybrids of elephant grass and pearlmillet for most of the studied parameters. The high performance of some experimental hybrids, compared to the two test hybrids, shows the potential of P. purpureum and P. glaucum crosses to develop better cultivars. Considering forage productivity and quality, the best hybrids were 108 (F91-2-5 x M-60), 53 (F93-4-2 x M-27), 35 (F94-28-3 x M-42), 36 (F94-28-3 x M-60) and 4 (F92-101-2 x M-35).

Keywords : Pennisetum purpureum; Pennisetum glaucum; breeding; forage quality.

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