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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Evaluate and Develop Low Maintenance Turfgrasses

Location: Forage and Range Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
I. Drought, heat, and salt tolerant turf grasses will be identified, and their mechanisms of tolerance investigated. II. New collections of putative drought tolerant turf grasses from central Asia will be evaluated for drought tolerance. III. Physiological and/or genetic relationships among target low maintenance turf species will be evaluated.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Novel and traditional sources of turfgrasses will be assembled and evaluated in field, greenhouse, and lab settings for stress tolerance, genetic relationships, ploidy level, and turf quality.


3.Progress Report:

The main objective of this project was to conduct coordinated turfgrass research involving abiotic stress tolerance and sustainability, particularly in the intermountain western region of the USA. The FRRL coordinates and cooperates in research involving: (1) selecting for salinity tolerance in turfgrasses, (2) improving drought tolerance and stay green under deficit irrigation in turfgrasses, and (3) identification of novel sources of turfgrass seed. The primary uses of collaborating funds include supporting student salaries for cooperative research, and using expertise/facilities/equipment for coordinated research.

During FY-2013: This SCA was entered to study and improve salt and drought tolerance among Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and alkaligrass (Puccinellia spp.) in field and laboratory settings. The cooperator is primarily responsible for management decisions and research while the FRRL focused on genetic and selection components. Within FY2013, the cooperator and FRRL established a salt tolerance evaluation site at Greenville Farm for the three species mentioned above, and including tolerant and susceptible entries of Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. The field site is an old golf putting green, with tiled drainage to allow for salts to wash out after the summer season. Evaluations will occur in the coming years. The cooperator and FRRL also established a Kentucky bluegrass drought trial at Greenville farm, and hybrids among putatively drought tolerant Kentucky bluegrass entries were generated and confirmed with molecular markers.


Last Modified: 9/20/2014
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