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Breeding improved perennial ryegrass for temperate pastures in Australia

Cunningham, P.J. Mr; Ph: (03) 5573 0900; Fax: (03) 5571 1523

Lowe, K.F. Mr; Ph: (07) 3280 1711; Fax: (07) 3812 1715;

Cransberg, L. Mr; Ph: (08) 9842 0500; Fax: (08) 9841 2707;

Reid, R. Mr; Ph: (03) 6336 5444; Fax: (03) 6344 4961

Mitchell, G. Mr; Ph: (08) 8391 7126; Fax: (08) 8388 8455

Blumenthal, M.J. Dr; Ph: (02) 6391 3185; Fax: (02) 6391 3767;

Easton, S. Dr; Ph: 0011 64 6356 8019; Fax: 0015 64 6351 8006

Research organisations: Pastoral and Veterinary Institute, Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, PMB 105, Hamilton Vic 3300; Division of Intensive Livestock, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 96, Ipswich Qld 4305; Agriculture Western Australia, 120 Albany Highway, Albany WA 6330; Tasmanian Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, PO Box 46, Kings Meadows Tas 7249; South Australian Research and Development Institute, PO Box 1571, Flaxley SA 5153; Division of Plant Industries, NSW Agriculture, PO Box 63, Berry NSW 2535; AgResearch Grasslands, PMB 11008, Palmerston North New Zealand

Collaborators: Mr W. Graves, University of California, USA; Mr L. Guarino, International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR); Dr G. Charmel, Station D'Amelioration Des Plantes, France; Dr A. Daaloul, IRESA, Ministry of Agriculture, Tunisia; Dr C. Porqueddu, Instituto di Agronomia Generale e Coltivanzioni Erbacee, Italy; Dr M. Bounejmate, INRA, Morocco.

Sponsors: DRDC, Dairy Research and Development Corporation; MRC, Meat Research Corporation


1. To improve meat and dairy production by breeding improved cultivars of perennial ryegrass that are adapted to target areas of Australia;

2. To produce cultivar/s which have: - improved winter growth (Project 1) - improved autumn growth and drought tolerance (Project 2) - improved seasonal growth and late season growth (Project 3);

3. To conserve the genetic diversity of grass and legume species from north Africa suitable for pasture development in Australia;

4. To bulk up and incorporate north African acquisitions into existing improvement and evaluation programs.

Methodology: This project deals specifically with the national evaluation of breeding lines developed from an improvement project (DAV 94 jointly funded with the Meat Research Corporation) and the collection of pasture species from north Africa. There are six recognised climatic regions where perennial ryegrass is used. The evaluation project has, through a network of collaborators within Australia and New Zealand, established trial sites in each region to test breeding lines.

Progress: The evaluation of breeding families has, through a network of collaborators within Australia and New Zealand, established evaluation sites in each region to test breeding families. Nine trials have been established in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia and New Zealand to evaluate material developed within earlier projects. The international genetic resource collection mission to north Africa (8 July-13 August 1994) was completed. Collections of target species were completed at 188 sites in Sardinia, Tunisia and Morocco to give a total collection of 472 accessions.

Period: starting date 1990-07; completion date 1998-06

Status: Completed.

Keywords: temperate pastures, perennial ryegrass, plant breeding, genetic selection, drought tolerance

Publications: No details available


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