Hybrids of <i>Paspalum plicatulum</i> × <i>P. guenoarum</i>: Selection for forage yield and cold tolerance in a subtropical environment
Selection of improved genotypes is important for pasture-based feeding systems in subtropical regions. Our goal was to identify hybrids of Paspalum with enhanced forage yield and cold tolerance across 2 sites [Bagé and Eldorado do Sul (ES)], in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We evaluated 19 P. plicatulum × P. guenoarum hybrids, P. plicatulum genotype 4PT, P. guenoarum cultivars Azulão and Baio and, as Control, Megathyrsus maximus cv. Aruana. At both sites, the experimental design was a completely randomized block with 4 replications. Total dry mass (total-DM), leaf-DM and cold tolerance (ColdT) were recorded. At Bagé, hybrid 102069 produced higher total-DM and leaf-DM than the progenitors and cv. Aruana, while at ES, hybrids 102069 and 10308 produced higher total-DM than 4PT, Azulão and Aruana; hybrid 102069 had higher leaf-DM. At Bagé, 16 hybrids displayed ColdT similar to their progenitors and higher than Aruana, while at ES, 12 hybrids showed ColdT similar to Azulão and Baio and higher than 4PT and Aruana. This study demonstrated that hybrids of Paspalum with superior forage yield to their progenitors and Aruana, and hybrids with higher ColdT than 4PT and Aruana are in existence. The hybridization technique shows potential for producing alternative genotypes with higher forage yield and ColdT for sowing in subtropical regions.