Submitted to: Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2014
Publication Date: 8/26/2014
Citation: Bushman, B.S. 2014. Improvement of drought and salt tolerance in Kentucky bluegrass. Agronomy Abstracts.
Technical Abstract: As a high polyploidy, apomictic, self-incompatible, perennial grass, Kentucky bluegrass has such complex genetic architecture that conducting standard Mendelian genetic selection is currently impossible. Our lab is trying to improve the quality and color of Kentucky bluegrass under water deficits caused by drought or salty irrigation. We have found accessions and cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass that are more tolerant than those currently on the market, and have initiated hybridizations between them. One large hurdle is the inability to differentiate true hybrids from other apomictic progenies, so we use DNA markers to identify true hybrids. For salt tolerance, we have found accurate measures such as leaf water potential and electrolyte leakage to quantify the tolerance. We have also initiated RNA expresson studies to determine genetic mechanisms behind salt tolerance.