Tropical Grasslands (1986) Volume 20, 59–65

BREEDING CENTROSEMA PASCUORUM FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

R.J. CLEMENTS1, W.H. WINTER2 and C.J. THOMSON3

1CSIRO Division of Tropical Crops and Pastures, Cunningham Laboratory, 306 Carmody Road, St. Lucia, Qld 4067.
2CSIRO Division of Tropical Crops and Pastures, Darwin Laboratories, PMB 44, Winnellie, N.T. 5789.
3CSIRO Division of Tropical Crops and Pastures, Katherine Research Station, P.O. Box 21, Katherine, N.T. 5780.

Abstract

A breeding program was conducted with C. pascuorum from 1976 to 1981 to improve seed and herbage yields and produce a cultivar suitable for dryland pastures in the Top End of the Northern Territory. Biparental crosses were made between accessions mainly from north-eastern Brazil. Pedigree selection methods were used in the F2, F4 and F6 generations at Katherine, N.T. and a single-seed descent method was used to advance progenies through the F3 and F5 generations without selection. Optimum flowering date for seed production by F2 spaced plants was late March, and selection in the F2 and F4 generations was for vigorous plants which flowered prolifically at about this time and which showed no above-ground symptoms of infestation by root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne sp.) and other pathogens. In the F6 generation, families were transplanted into small swards and evaluated for two years. The best F6 families had seed and herbage yields greater than both parents. Seven families were selected for regional testing.

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