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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Research Project #420077

Research Project: Evaluate and Develop Low Maintenance Turfgrasses

Location: Forage and Range Research

2011 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 with ARS 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. During FY-2011: Drought tolerant Kentucky bluegrass varieties and accessions were identified in a large field study, transplanted for seed increase, and a paper submitted for research publication. Seed was collected from previously identified salt tolerant Kentucky bluegrass accessions, which will be useful for future physiological studies and cooperative agreements. Heat tolerance mechamisms in fine fescues were investigated, and tolerant plants were crossed with intolerant plants for genetic analysis. Other fine fescue sources were planted in several locations for evaluation of persistence in low rainfall and no supplemental irrigation management regimes. Percent green color was evaluated on a first year’s data of new collections of several turfgrass species from the Caucasus mountain region in Russia. Monitoring Methods: • Email, telephone, and visits for project planning and implementation. • Email and telephone correspondence over funds. • Visits and weekly interviews with students and each other for project updates. • Coordinated presentations at field days, regional meetings, and other scientific meetings.

4. Accomplishments