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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Assessment of Rangeland and Turf Grasses for Abiotic Stress Response

Location: Forage and Range Research

Project Number: 2080-21000-014-23-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 15, 2011
End Date: Sep 14, 2016

The objectives of this cooperative research agreement are: 1) Analyze the plant nutritional components of fescue grasses with and without fungal endophytes which have been subjected to drought, heat, and salt stress; 2) Analyze the water soluble carbohydrates of orchardgrass and ryegrass experimental lines which have been subjected to drought and temperature stress; and 3) Determine the concentration of selenium (Se) and other toxic heavy metals of native plant species after being grown in soils from various degraded mining sites. Results will allow for the identification of novel stress tolerant plant materials that will thereafter be selected for pre-requisite traits (persistence, productivity) for public release.

This project will focus on response of native and non-native (introduced) plant species when challenged by several abiotic stresses (drought, salt, temperature, and heavy metals). This research will have field, laboratory, and greenhouse components and will involve the mineral analysis of plant species to define their responses to abiotic stress challenge. The response of plant populations and experimental lines (the result of previous breeding from ongoing plant improvement programs) that have been identified in preliminary experiments to possess tolerance and susceptibility to abiotic stresses will be subjected to stresses in replicated trials and will be prepared for analysis by mass spectrometry. For fine-leaf fescue analysis, clonal plants which are + and - endophytes will be evaluated for their response under controlled field (rainout shelter) and greenhouse (overhead delivery system) for water and salt stress challenge, respectively. For orchardgrass and ryegrass experimentals challenged with water (line source) and temperature (cold) stress, whole and biochemical analysis coupled with near-infrared spectroscopy of leaves will be accomplished by wet chemistry to determine water soluble carbohydrate concentration. For plants subjected to heavy metal challenge either in the field or greenhouse, mass spectrometry will be employed to determine the effect of animal manure, sulfur, and denwoody cap treatments on different forms of heavy metals (e.g., Se in Se overburdened soils).

Last Modified: 05/23/2017
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