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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Direct Selection Response for Stem Rust Resistance in Tall Fescue

Authors
item Barker, Reed
item Welty, R - RETIRED-ARS

Submitted to: Grassland International Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 6, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Tall fescue is an important grass grown for forage and turf in the southeast and midwest regions of the USA and for turf in the mid- Atlantic and west regions of the USA and southern areas of Australia. It ranks third among grasses in number of acres grown for seed in the Willamette Valley of OR. Stem rust, first reported on the seed crop in 1987, has increased in economic impact in seed production fields in recent years with fungicides commonly used to control the disease. Genetic resistance, however, would provide a more environmentally sound approach to control the disease. This research was done to determine if more rapid progress could be made from selection for stem rust resistance in a greenhouse on seedling plants. Two cycles of polycross (PX) selection on progenies from thirty-four parent plants (14 forage-types and 20 turf-types) were compared to one cycle of open pollination (OP) followed by one cycle of PX selection using a 2-stage greenhouse screening process. Response from selection was determined from composite half-sib progenies from each cycle. Number of plants with rust resistant reaction based on pustule-type increased from 5 to 54% in the PX forage-type population and from 6 to 50% in the PX turf-types. Overall response from initial OP selection was similar to PX selection but 78 and 50% of the gain, respectively, was made in the PX cycle conducted in the greenhouse. Results indicated that rapid progress from selection in the greenhouse for stem rust resistance on seedling plants of tall fescue is possible and the PX selection system would make faster progress than other systems tested.

Technical Abstract: Resistance to stem rust (caused by Puccinia graminis Pers.:Pers. subsp. graminicola Z. Urban.)would be beneficial in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Two cycles of polycross (PX) selection on progenies from thirty-four parent plants (14 forage-types and 20 turf-types) were compared to one cycle of open pollination (OP) followed by one cycle of PX selection using a 2-stage greenhouse screening process. Response from selection was determined from composite half-sib progenies from each cycle. Number of plants with resistant reaction based on pustule-type increased from 5 to 54% in the PX forage-type population and from 6 to 50% in the PX turf-types. Overall response from initial OP selection was similar to PX selection but 78 and 50% of the gain, respectively, occurred in the PX cycle. Results indicated that rapid progress from selection in the greenhouse for stem rust resistance in tall fescue is possible using PX selection.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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