Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Genomics and Bioinformatics Research » Research » Research Project #437576

Research Project: Improving the Drought Tolerance and Sustainability of Turfgrasses Used in Southern Landscapes Through the Integration of Breeding, Genetics,...

Location: Genomics and Bioinformatics Research

Project Number: 6066-21310-006-008-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2019
End Date: Aug 31, 2024

This project will focus on integrating breeding, genetics, physiology, economics, and outreach in order to improve turfgrasses for the southeastern U.S. in relation to abiotic stresses and release advanced cultivar lines for utilization in urban landscaping with improved sustainability. Objective 1: Effective functioning of Research, Extension and Outreach teams – Meetings and coordination for successful completion of project objectives. Objective 2: Assessment of physiological mechanisms for improved drought tolerance screening - Improve understanding of traits and underlying mechanisms associated with turf performance under drought. Objective 3: Breeding, germplasm development, and evaluation of drought responses and persistence - Continuing the established breeding pipeline for development of drought tolerant cultivars Objective 4: Development of marker-assisted breeding systems - Continue to develop genetic resources with the ultimate goal of marker assisted selection for warm-season turfgrasses. Objective 5: Extension and Outreach programs – Coordinated extension efforts to promote and assess new cultivars and socio-economics to analyze consumer preferences.

USDA-ARS will interact with Objective 3 and particularly Objective 4 which are relevant to breeding and development of marker assisted breeding programs of turfgrass important to the Southeast Area. Genetic mapping projects will be undertaken to search for quantitative trait loci in segregating populations, regions identified will be validated through molecular analysis and then translated into markers that can be used in marker assisted selection breeding programs. Candidate genes will be identified through integrated pathway analysis and transcriptomic studies with drought and other top lines, as well as integrated with metabolomics studies across environments and species.