Almost 80% of Brazilian pastures are formed with exotic forage species, especially Brachiaria. The use of native species of Paspalum can diversify the supply of forage crops in Brazil and neighboring countries. As lawn, P. notatum is already widely grown. Most species of the informal group Plicatula is tetraploid and apomictic. The identification of diploid and sexual cytotypes and obtaining polyploidy protocols will enable the intra- and interspecific crosses in the Paspalum genus. It is very high the genetic diversity in this genus concerning many biotic and abiotic aspects of interest to the breeding program. It will be possible in this proposal: 1) identify sexual diploid accessions on species of Plicatula group, 2) develop synthetic sexual tetraploid germplasm, 3) cross the tetraploid-induced sexual type with tetraploid apomictic elites, 4) if necessary, use methods of embryo rescue to recover the hybrids and 5) if hybrids will not be recovered, use the fluorescence microscopy to observe the pollen-pistil interactions to understand the fertilization barriers and 6) use of molecular markers is possible. All these activities have fundamental importance for the development of the breeding program of Paspalum in São Paulo, bringing new possibilities for the development of cultivars, increasing the genetic variability available to the farmer, especially in areas that are vulnerable to biotic and abiotic stresses.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: