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Long Ma, Kevin E. Kenworthy, Huangjun Lu and Ronald Cherry

Common carpetgrass is a warm-season grass species that is commonly used as a pasture grass in Louisiana and as an alternative low-maintenance lawn grass in the southern Unites States. Understanding genetic variation for traits related to seed production is important to determine breeding strategies for improvement. Ten genotypes were analyzed for number of branches per inflorescence, number of spikelets per branch, and percentage seed set under self-pollination and open pollination. The 10 genotypes exhibited a wide range of variation for number of spikelets per branch and seed set but had a narrow range of variation for number of branches per inflorescence. Genotype was more important than year in contributing to number of branches per inflorescence, whereas the year variance component had a greater impact on number of spikelets per branch. The relative importance of genotype and environment for seed set differed between the two modes of pollination. Broad-sense heritability was 0.35 for number of branches per inflorescence and 0.07 for number of spikelets per branch. Heritability of seed set was 0.29 when the inflorescences were selfed and 0.50 when the inflorescences were subjected to open pollination. Average percentage seed set of the 10 genotypes under self-pollination and open pollination was not significantly different. However, two of 10 genotypes had significantly different means for seed set between self-pollination and open pollination. This information should be useful to plant breeders to select appropriate breeding methods for cultivar development of common carpetgrass.