Integrating straw yield and quality into multi‐dimensional improvement of lentil (Lens culinaris)
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Ashraf Alkhtib, Jane Wamatu, Taye Tolemariam, Barbara Rischkowsky. (1/9/2017). Integrating straw yield and quality into multi‐dimensional improvement of lentil (Lens culinaris). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 97 (12), pp. 4135-4141.
BACKGROUND Lentil straw is an important source of fodder for livestock in Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. However, improvement programmes of lentil do not pay attention to straw traits, neither are straw traits considered in release criteria of new varieties. This study aimed to determine whether straw traits can be integrated into multi‐trait improvement of lentil. RESULTS Wide genotypic variation (P < 0.001) was found in grain yield, straw yield and nutritive value of straw. Urea treatment significantly (P < 0.01) improved the nutritive value of straw; however, the genotypic range was comparatively higher by 13.3 units, 56 units, 0.82 units, 106 units, 18.3 units and 1.62 units in crude protein, in vitro organic matter digestibility, metabolisable energy, potential dry matter intake, potential crude protein intake and potential metabolisable energy intake respectively. Acid detergent fibre correlated very strongly (pooled r = 0.87) with other nutritive value parameters of straw, therefore, it can be used to screen lentil varieties for fodder quality. Furthermore, acid detergent fibre can accurately predict in vitro organic matter digestibility (R2 = 0.9) and metabolisable energy (R2 = 0.8). Straw yield weakly correlated (r = 0.39, P < 0.001) with grain yield while no relation (P > 0.05) was found between grain yield. CONCLUSION The possibility to simultaneously improve grain yield and nutritive traits of lentil straw