Festuca arundinacea Schreb., commonly known as tall fescue, is a major forage crop in temperate regions. Recently, a molecular analysis of different accessions of a world germplasm collection of tall fescue has demonstrated that it contains different species from the genus Festuca and allowed their rapid classification into the three major morphotypes (Continental, Mediterranean and Rhizomatous). In this study, we explored the genetic diversity of 161 accessions of Festuca species from 29 countries, including 28 accessions of INTA (Argentina), by analyzing 15 polymorphic SSR markers by capillary electrophoresis. These molecular markers allowed us to detect a total of 214 alleles. The number of alleles per locus varied between 5 and 24, and the values of polymorphic information content ranged from 0.627 to 0.840. In addition, the accessions analyzed by flow cytometry showed different ploidy levels (diploid, tetraploid, hexaploid and octaploid), placing in evidence that the world germplasm collection consisted of multiple species, as previously suggested. Interestingly, almost all accessions of INTA germplasm collection were true hexaploid tall fescue, belonging to two eco-geographic races (Continental and Mediterranean). Finally, the data presented revealed an ample genetic diversity of tall fescue showing the importance of preserving the INTA collection for future breeding programs.
Collection of Bromus catharticus Vahl was carried out in the Argentine humid and sub-humid central area. Sixty-eight natural populations are conserved for medium and long term in Pergamino Germplasm Bank and in IRB Germplasm Bank, and ten morphological and agronomic traits were evaluated in the field during two years. There was variability for the traits considered among the accessions. Those populations from the subhumid area showed differences in valuable attributes for breeding. Exploration of marginal areas for this species might be an effective way to add variability to this collection.
Coletas de Bromus catharticus Vahl foram conduzidas nas areas úmidas e sub-úmidas centrais da Argentina. Sessenta e oito populações naturais foram mantidas por médio e longo períodos nos bancos de germoplasma Pergamino e IRB, e dez características morfológicas agronômicas foram avaliadas em campo durante dois anos. Foi observada variabilidade para as características entre os acessos. As populações da região sub-úmida mostraram diferenças para características importantes para o melhoramento. A exploração de áreas marginais para esta espécie pode ser um modo efetivo de adicionar variabilidade para esta coleção de germoplasma.