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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Plant Science

First Advisor

Arvid Boe


Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.) is a vigorous perennial forb native to moist prairies in eastern North America. Our objectives were to identify half-sib families with superior biomass yield and to determine genetic variation and narrow sense heritability for biomass and other agronomic and seed traits in a population of cup plant developed from natural populations from the north central USA. Thirty three half-sib families and a check were harvested at Brookings, SD in each of October 2011, 2012 and 2013. Annual mean biomass yield ranged from 2183 kg ha-1 in 2012 to 8053 kg ha-1 in 2013. Biomass yield in 2012 was 87 % less than in 2012 and 68 % less than in 2013. Mean half-sib family biomass yield over three years ranged from 3912 to 6784 kg ha-1. Yields of cup plant at Arlington, Wisconsin were similar for three years (grand mean = 8634 kg ha-1). Achene mass and dimensional traits were reduced in 2012 relative to 2011. Seven out of the top 9 (i.e., top 25 %) families for rank were common to both years. Achenes for three families were 21 % heavier in 2011 and achenes for five families were 22 % heavier in 2012 than a check population from WI. All half-sib families demonstrated phenotypic plasticity in response to annual environmental variation for biomass yield and associated traits. Neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber content averaged across the 34 entries were 518 g kg-1 DM and 407 g kg-1 DM, respectively. The narrow-sense heritability estimate for biomass yield was 0.65. Biomass production of cup plant intended for bioenergy production in the northern Great Plains may be increased by selecting among half-sib families.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cup rosinweed
Cup rosinweed -- Genetics
Biomass chemicals
Biomass energy
Energy crops


Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-51)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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