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Variation in mineral concentration and grass tetany potential among Russian Wildrye accessions

Variación en la Concentración Mineral y el Potencial de Tétano de Zacates entre Asentimientos de Centeno Silvestre Ruso

Jefferson, P.G. and Mayland, H.F. and Asay, K.H. and Berdahl, J.D. (2001) Variation in mineral concentration and grass tetany potential among Russian Wildrye accessions. Crop Science. 41:543-548.


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Grass tetany or hypomagnesemic tetany in cattle (Bos taurus) is caused by an imbalance of K, Ca, and Mg in the diet. Indications of grass tetany range from reduced milk yield or weight gain to severe convulsions and death. The risk of grass tetany dramatically increases when the K/(Mg + Ca) ratio of forage exceeds 2.2, especially for dams during early lactation. Russian wildrye [Psathyrostachys juncea (Fisch.) Nevski], a valuable forage species, has ratios well above this level. Our objectives were to determine the mineral concentration and ratio values for 65 accessions of Russian wildrye to select germplasm sources with low tetany ratio and to determine the effects of year, location, and their interactions with accessions. Seedlings of each accession and two checks, Syn A and Mankota, were established in replicated space-plant nurseries at Logan, UT, Mandan, ND, and Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada. Years-within-location effects generally produced the largest variance component, while the accession variance was larger than location x accession and location X accession x year interaction variances for K, Ca, Mg, KJ(Mg + Ca) ratio, and Reduced Tetany Potential (RTP) index. Selection for these traits in Russian wildrye germplasm will require multiple years to characterize adequately accessions, breeding lines, or synthetics. The K/(Ca + Mg) ratio of the accessions tested ranged from 2.2 to 3.0 when averaged across sites and years for V4 growth stage. A similar range of ratio values and ranking of the accessions was observed at the E2 growth stage. The three tetraploid accessions evaluated were among the five accessions with the highest tetany ratios. Previously reported forage yield and seed yield means were significantly correlated with K, Mg, and N concentrations and K/(Ca + Mg) ratio. The RTP index was not correlated with forage yield, seed yield, or N concentration. Therefore, selection in Russian wildrye should be based on increased RTP index rather than K concentration or K/(Ca + Mg) ratio to avoid concomitant unintentional selection of reduced forage yield and seed yield

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1041
Subjects: Irrigated crops > Grass forage > Chemistry
Mass Import - autoclassified (may be erroneous)
Depositing User: Dan Stieneke
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2010 21:50
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 17:30
Item ID: 119

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