New Stylosanthes guianensis for tropical grasslands
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Hybrid stylos (Stylosanthes guianensis var. vulgaris x var. pauciflora) with durable, quantitative resistance to anthracnose, mid-season harvest maturity date (early-July), high DM and seed yields have been selected at the Embrapa Beef Cattle Research Center, Campo Grande, Brazil. The hybrids displayed improved forage traits in Brazil, the native habitat and major center of diversity of the species and its pathogen, as well as in vastly different ecosystems. Dry forage yields and anthracnose resistance of superior selections and their composites were equal, in some instances, significantly better, than those of cv. Mineir (a) over tildeo in multilocational trials situated in the Cerrados from lat. 6degrees S to lat. 20degrees S. Selected hybrids performed well in comparison with the highly successful CIAT 184 (cv.Reyan II) on Hainan Island, China. Composites have also shown good promise in seed multiplication plots in Queensland, Australia. A positive attribute of composite hybrids is their great genetic diversity in contrast to pure-line cultivars with a relatively narrow genetic base. These truly tropical forms of stylo are best adapted to regions with >1500mm average annual rainfall.