Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2005
Publication Date: 5/16/2006
Citation: Kindiger, B.K. 2006. Developing a new cool-season perennial grass forage: interspecific hybrids of poa arachnifera x poa secunda. Book Chapter. Interpretive Summary: Forage grasses are the major component in maintaining the livestock industries in most of the world. The development of new cultivars and populations of forage grasses are indispensable for the continued development of this major economic resource. In the southern plains, there is a need for an indigenous, cool-season perennial grass forage which can extend the grazing season for livestock and remain persistent under a myriad of grazing and environmental pressures. The presented research provides a step-by-step approach focused on interspecific hybridization of bluegrass species indigenous to North America and the attempt to develop a bluegrass cultivar that is persistent under grazing and is nutritionally sound. The research information and review of the achievements provides both students and researchers fundamental and advanced information regarding methods of interspecific hybridization among representatives of the Poa genus. Information regarding field and laboratory evaluation of the hybrids and potential opportunities for research programs interested in utilizing the diversity of bluegrass in a breeding program to develop a superior forage grass cultivar are discussed.
Technical Abstract: Few perennial cool-season grass forages are indigenous or adapted to the sub-tropical region of the Southern Plains. One notable exception is Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera) which is a sod-forming species which can be found in southern Kansas, central and western Oklahoma and north-central Texas. In this program, Poa arachnifera was hybridized to another indigenous, drought tolerant Poa species, P. secunda. The programs primary research focus is the generation, selection and evaluation of these interspecific hybrids in order to develop an indigenous, cool-season perennial grass forage species with superior production, forage quality and persistence under grazing. A review of recent accomplishments in this subject has been developed to place both the historic and recent research achievements into a single document for use as a teaching tool for students in plant breeding courses as well as a reference resource for more advanced researchers interested in this area of study. The review provides both general and specific information pertaining to the development of Poa interspecific hybrids as well as the results of the hybridization. Accomplishments regarding levels of pollen and seed fertility, forms of reproduction and comparative forage qualities are provided and discussed in this review.