Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/23/2004
Publication Date: 1/24/2005
Citation: Gulsen, O., Shearman, R.C., Vogel, K.P., Lee, D.J., Heng-Moss, T. 2005. Organelle DNA diversity among buffalograsses from the great plains of north america using cpDNA and mtDNA RFLP's. Crop Science.45:186-192. Interpretive Summary: Buffalograss is a perennial, warm-season turfgrass that is native to the shortgrass prairie of North America. It is becoming increasing important as a turf grass in semi-arid and arid regions of the US. Buffalograss plants collected from different areas of the Great Plains were evaluated for genetic variation in their chloroplants and mitochrondria which are cellular organelles. Low levels of organelle DNA differences were detected indicating that most of the genetic diversity in buffalograss is due to nuclear DNA in chromosomes. This information will enable plant breeders to develop more efficient strategies for breeding new cultivars of buffalograss for use as turf.
Technical Abstract: Buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] is a perennial, warm-season turfgrass that is native to the shortgrass prairie of North America. It offers potential benefits as a turfgrass due to its drought resistance, low incidence of pest problems, and relatively low nutrient requirements. This study was initiated to evaluate the level of organelle DNA diversity among buffalograss genotypes, and to determine the mode of inheritance of the chloroplast organelle, using cpDNA and mtDNA PCR-RFLPs. The 56 genotypes studied included diploids, triploid, tetraploids, pentaploids, and hexaploids. These genotypes represented 273 buffalograsses collected during 1994 and 1995 from diverse locations in the North American Great Plains. Six cpDNA and three mtDNA non-coding regions were amplified by polymerase chain reaction, using universal chloroplast and mitochondrial primer pairs. Each amplified fragment was digested with 2 to 6 different restriction enzymes. Based on the use of cpDNA primers, psbC-trnS and restriction enzyme Hae III, cpDNA was determined to be maternally inherited in buffalograss. Of the 225 scored fragments, 189 were polymorphic (84%), which included the outgroups, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. Ex Steud.). Similarities among all genotypes ranged from 0.41 to 1.0, with a mean of 0.70. The UPGMA-generated dendogram clustered all buffalograsses together with the similarity value of 0.95. Out of the 56 genotypes studied, nine (16%) were discriminated from the other buffalograsses. The remaining 47 genotypes did not differ for cpDNA and mtDNA PCR-RFLPs even though they represented diverse geographic origins and five ploidy levels. These results suggest that low levels of organelle DNA PCR-RFLP are present in naturally occurring buffalograss populations.