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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Breeding and Genetics - Warm-Season Grasses

Authors
item Vogel, Kenneth
item Burson, Byron

Submitted to: Warm Season Grasses
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 10, 2004
Publication Date: October 1, 2004
Citation: Vogel, K.P., Burson, B.L. 2004. Breeding and Genetics. p. 51-96. In L.E. Moser, L. Sollenberger, and B. Burson (ed.). Warm-season grasses. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Monograph. Madison, WI.

Interpretive Summary: Warm-season grasses have the C4 photosynthesis system that enables them to be highly productive during the hot months of the summer. Breeding and genetics research on warm-season forage and pasture grasses began in the 1930's. Initial research was focused on developing cultivars of adapted species that could be used to reseed land damaged by drought and the subsequent 'dust bowl' in the Great Plains, USA, and to restore land damaged by poor farming practices. Cultivars of warm-season grasses were developed with improved establishment capability, persistence, high forage yields, and good insect and disease resistance. Limited animal evaluation was involved in the development of the initial cultivars. Breeding and genetics research on developing improved warm-season grasses continues on these essential traits but in addition, research on improving the quality of the grasses by grazing livestock is now an essential component of breeding improved warm-season grasses. The past and current warm-season grass breeding research was and continues to be supported by numerous genetic studies on the inheritance and breeding of specific traits. Information developed from over 70 years of warm-season grass breeding and genetics research including molecular breeding technologies is summarized.

Technical Abstract: Warm-season grasses have the C4 photosynthesis system that enables them to be highly productive during the hot months of the summer. Breeding and genetics research on warm-season forage and pasture grasses began in the 1930's. Initial research was focused on developing cultivars of adapted species that could be used to reseed land damaged by drought and the subsequent 'dust bowl' in the Great Plains, USA, and to restore land damaged by poor farming practices. Cultivars of warm-season grasses were developed with improved establishment capability, persistence, high forage yields, and good insect and disease resistance. Limited animal evaluation was involved in the development of the initial cultivars. Breeding and genetics research on developing improved warm-season grasses continues on these essential traits but in addition, research on improving the quality of the grasses by grazing livestock is now an essential component of breeding improved warm-season grasses. The past and current warm-season grass breeding research was and continues to be supported by numerous genetic studies on the inheritance and breeding of specific traits. Information developed from over 70 years of warm-season grass breeding and genetics research including molecular breeding technologies is summarized.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014