Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/26/2004
Publication Date: 3/28/2005
Citation: Hollman, A.B., Stier, J.C., Casler, M.D., Jung, G., Brilman, L.A. 2005. Identification of putative velvet bentgrass clones using rapd markers. Crop Science. 45:923-930. Interpretive Summary: Bentgrasses are extensively used on golf courses in temperate regions for putting greens, tees, and fairways. The three most commonly used bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass, colonial bentgrass, and velvet bentgrass, are often difficult to identify based on visual appearance. We identified some simple molecular markers that can be used to classify unknown plants collected from fairways or putting greens of golf courses or from wild or natural areas. They showed that some native collections from the Azores Islands contained a mixture of species and possible hybrids between different species. Plants collected from old golf courses in Milwaukee contained largely fine-textured creeping bentgrass with one clone of velvet bentgrass. This information will be of value to other scientists and breeders who have collections of unknown bentgrass clones.
Technical Abstract: Bentgrasses (Agrostis spp.) are extensively used on golf courses in temperate regions for putting greens, tees, and fairways. The three most commonly used bentgrasses, creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.), colonial bentgrass (Agrostis capillaris L.), and velvet bentgrass (Agrostis canina L.), are often difficult to identify based on morphological features. As such, naturalized bentgrass clones collected from old turfs can be difficult to classify. The objective of this study was to determine if random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers could identify 319 bentgrass clones according to species, ultimately to identify desirable velvet bentgrass germplasm for breeding projects. Germplasm sources included known velvet, creeping, and colonial bentgrasses, a seed collection of putative velvet bentgrass from the Azores, Portugal, and a clonal collection of putative velvet bentgrass from old Milwaukee golf courses. Five RAPD primers produced 82 polymorphic bands. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) was used to partition variation among groups (14.7%), among populations within groups (16.2%), and among individuals within populations (69.1%). A multidimensional scaling procedure (MDS) differentiated groups according to known species and allocated unknown plants into known clusters. The Milwaukee group was closely associated with creeping bentgrass cultivars while the Azores group associated with velvet bentgrass and colonial bentgrass. Flow cytometry confirmed ploidy levels of known and unknown clones. The clear differentiation between species suggests that RAPD markers are a useful tool for identifying bentgrass species.