Androgenic populations produced from three Festuca pratensis × Lolium multiflorum amphidiploid (2n = 4x = 28) cultivars show wide within population variation for winter hardiness. Populations comprising a total of 423 androgenic plants derived from 23 donor plants from 3 Polish F. pratensis × L. multiflorum cultivars Felopa, Sulino, and Rakopan were studied over 3 years (1999–2002) in a field experiment at Lopuszna, Poland (2008E, 4928N, altitude 568 m). The results indicate that despite differences in winter hardiness between the three amphidiploid cultivars, the mean winter hardiness of androgenic progeny from each cultivar was the same. Thus an androgenesis component in a plant breeding programme may provide an opportunity to recover winter hardy genotypes from high yielding cultivars that are themselves adapted poorly to stress conditions. Androgenesis also evoked variation in snow mould resistance. In this case, androgenic plants with the greatest snow mould resistance were recovered from the least winter hardy donor cultivars and plants. The results indicated the low importance of snow mould resistance as a component of winter hardiness under the field conditions used for these experiments.
- androgenesis, Lolium multiflorum ×, Festuca pratensis amphidiploid , cultivars, snow mould resistance, winter hardiness