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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #152475


item POOLE, G.
item Johnson, Richard

Submitted to: International Turfgrass Science Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2001
Publication Date: 1/1/2001
Citation: Poole, G.J., Johnston, W.J., Johnson, R.C. Poa annua diversity on golf course greens in the Pacific Northwest, USA. International Turfgrass Science Journal. 2001. v.9.p.192-197.

Interpretive Summary: Annual bluegrass is a widely adapted plant species that for years has been a difficult to control weed on golf course greens. Two subspecies, a true winter annual type and a perennial type, are known to exist along with numerous ecological types and races. Although traditionally a weed, the perennial type has the potential to be used as a grass for golf course greens. Our objectives were to collect perennial types from exiting golf course greens, evaluate this material for turf-type agronomic traits, related agronomic diversity to geographic origin, and develop a perennial core collection to represent the majority of genetic diversity in the collection. Two-hundred accessions were collected form 78 golf courses in the Pacific Northwest. There was considerable genetic variation among the accessions and differences were found between western coastal material and eastern interior material, apparently owing to the different in environment. Sufficient genetic variation appeared to be available to develop cultivars for golf greens. A core collection representing the majority of genetic diversity was developed which will allow more in-depth analysis of the genetic diversity available for plant breeding for annual bluegrass.

Technical Abstract: Poa annua L. (annual bluegrass) has received considerable attention as a weed in the golf course industry due to its wide spread abundance and high phenotypic variation. Recent efforts have resulted in the development of perennial turf-type annual bluegrass. Limited effort has been made to collect perennial Poa annua in the Pacific Northwest, USA. The objectives of this study were to:1) collect perennial Poa annua from golf course greens in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, 2) evaluate the collection for turf-type agronomic characteristics, 3) relate agronomic characterization to geographic origin, and 4) develop a core collection subset to represent the diversity of the entire collection. To evaluate diversity in greens-type Poa annua, 200 accessions were collected from 78 golf courses. Accessions collected as vegetative samples were evaluated for 11 agronomic parameters in field studies conducted during 1999 and 2000, at Pullman WA, USA. Significant variation was observed for the agronomic parameters. Significant correlations (Coeff. range = 0.22 to 0.93) were found between several parameters, and differences were found between parameters with respect to region of origin (western costal or eastern interior). Evidence of semi-prostrate or prostrate tillering growth habit with adventitious nodal rooting, characteristic of perennial Poa annua biotypes, was observed in greater than 95% of the accessions. A core subset was developed, which will allow the diversity in the collection to be evaluated in greater detail and in more environments.