The Breeding Behavior of Molasses Grass in Kenya

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Bogdan, A. V.
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In 1954 the comparison and selection of varieties of Molasses grass (Melin is minutiflora Beauv.) suitable for leys was undertaken at the Grassland Research Station, Kitale. This type of work necessitates a certain knowledge of the breeding behavior of the species concerned and as no information could be found in the literature a study of progeny lines was Undertaken to find out whether Molasses grasses are cross-pollinated or self-fertile. Four distinct varieties were chosen for this study. They differed in general habit, and in such characters as the nature of the hairs on the leaf sheaths close to the nodes, the colour of the leaves, the hairiness of the spikelets, the length of the awns, and other features. For the purpose of strain building, the fact that Molasses grass is not a cross-pollinatzd species indicates that strains can be developed from single selected plants, and it also indicates that varieties can be grown for seed without the need for isolation, as far as cross pollination is concerned. A revision of the M. minutiflora complex and its affinities, including observations on progeny lines, is required before the taxonomy of this group can be clearly resolved.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 26, p. 49-50