Submitted to: Plant and Animal Genome
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2003
Publication Date: 12/20/2003
Citation: Kindiger, B.K. 2003. Interspecific hybrids of Poa arachnifera x P. secunda and P. pratensis. Plant and Animal Genome. Proceedings of the International Plant and Animal Genome Conference. Scherago International, New York, New York. 2003. Abstract p. 251.
Technical Abstract: Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera) is a vigorous, sod-forming perennial bluegrass species which is native to the Southern Plains region of the U.S. Few attempts have been made to hybridize Texas bluegrass with other species in the bluegrass genus. In this study, fifty-five hybrids were obtained by crossing Texas bluegrass with another native bluegrass species, Sandberg bluegrass (P. secunda). Barriers to hybridization were not limiting, and plump, viable seed were readily obtained from the Texas bluegrass maternal parent. Hybrid plants were generally robust and their pollen fertility ranged from 0% to 90%. Viable seed were obtained from two of thirty-five examined hybrids. The method of reproduction identified in two hybrid plants which produced fertile seed appeared to be apomictic, which is a characteristic of the Sandberg bluestem parent. All the hybrids had a sod-forming root system with rhizomes, which is characteristic of Texas bluegrass, rather than the non-rhizomatous root system typical of Sandberg bluestem. Texas bluegrass seed have cobwebby hairs, but the hairs were reduced or absent on seeds produced by the hybrids. The hybrids exhibited chromosome numbers which were equivalent to or exceeded the chromosome number of each parent. Preliminary forage quality evaluations indicate that the hybrids are comparable to other perennial cool-season grass forages. The hybrids appear promising for the development of new forms of native bluegrasses utilizing Texas bluegrass as the maternal parent. The hybrids may have value as forage and turf and a wide range of adaption to the both the southern and western U.S.