Characterizing genetically diverse blue grama [bouteloua gracilis (Willd. ex kunth) lag. ex griffiths] seed sources

G. M.A. Friesen, S. R. Smith, D. J. Cattani, A. T. Phan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The need for regionally adapted native grass seed sources for the northern Great Plains has resulted in the commercial release of a range of plant materials, including ecovars™1. Ecovars™ are multisite composite populations developed to combine broad genetic diversity from a geographic region. The objective of this study was to determine whether morphological data could be used to distinguish between genetically diverse blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (Willd. ex Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths] seed sources through classical statistical methods. Entries included a Manitoba (MB) ecovar™, a USDA–NRCS released cultivar ‘Bad River’, and ecotypes from Wyoming and Minnesota. Vegetative and reproductive measurements and ratings were taken from a spaced-plant nursery during 2000–2001 in Carman, Manitoba, Canada. The results were analyzed using statistical techniques including: ANOVA, least significant difference, canonical discriminant analysis (CDA), and coefficients of variation. These techniques distinguished four genetically diverse seed sources from each other through CDA. As hypothesized, there was greater within-population genetic diversity for the MB ecovar™ and Wyoming and Minnesota ecotypes, compared with ‘Bad River’. Our results indicate that genetically diverse blue grama seed sources can be distinguished, based on phenotypic measurements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)661-671
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Canadian Science Publishing. All rights reserved.


  • Blue grama
  • Bouteloua gracilis
  • Ecovars™
  • Genetic diversity
  • Native grasses
  • Reclamation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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