U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Crop Sci. 24:559‑564


U.S. government work


Genotype, environment, and genotype X environment interaction effects for forage yield and quality of the crested wheatgrasses (Agropyron cristatum) and (A. desertorum) were studied using an array of 42 crested wheatgrass introductions, experimental lines, and released cultivars that were selected to be representative of the mix of germplasm available to a breeder. They were grown in two environments, Lincoln and Alliance, Nebr., that differ markedly in climate. Forage yield and forage quality as measured by in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) and percent protein were determined in both locations in 1980 and 1981. In the combined analyses over years and locations, there were significant differences among strains or genotypes and locations for first-harvest forage yield, IVDMD, and protein. Strain X location interaction effects were significant only for first-harvest forage yield and for this trait its variance component was only 0.3 as large as the variance component for strains. Strain X year interaction effects were not significant. Spearmen correlations, used to show relative ranking of the strains at the two locations, were moderate and positive for all first-cut traits. The results indicate that existing genetic variability in forage yield and quality should permit the development of improved crested wheatgrasses and that at least in the initial stages of a breeding program, selection for these traits could be done in a single location and year.