Submitted to: U.S. Golf Association
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2010
Publication Date: 7/1/2010
Citation: Bushman, B.S. 2010. Developing salt tolerant Kentucky bluegrass. U.S. Golf Association.
Technical Abstract: One of the greatest challenges confronting the turf industry is water. Irrigation water is in short supply due to the rapidly growing population, especially in the North American West. Golf course superintendents and other landscape managers are being asked to deal with a very difficult situation - to use less irrigation water, use lower quality water sources, and allow more use of the turfgrass areas. Therefore, turfgrass with high turfgrass quality and greater salt tolerance is essential to meet these expectations. Extensive breeding efforts in Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) have been conducted to improve turfgrass quality traits and pest resistance and some stress tolerance traits, but most of the available germplasm within Poa pratensis has not been rigorously evaluated for salt tolerance and turf characteristics in the arid West climate. We assembled a large and diverse collection of Poa germplasm, check varieties, and other species to evaluate in field conditions and controlled-environment (greenhouse) salinity evaluations. Seedlings in this greenhouse study were screened by subjecting them to increasing salt concentrations until the last plants had been killed by the treatment. We also conducted suppressive-subtractive hybridization (SSH) to evaluate genes that are differentially expressed under salt stress.