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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Tifton, Georgia » Crop Genetics and Breeding Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342449

Research Project: Genetic Enhancement and Management of Warm-Season Species for Forage, Turf and Renewable Energy

Location: Crop Genetics and Breeding Research

Title: Advances in DNA markers and breeding for warm and cool-season turfgrasses

Author
item Harris-Shultz, Karen
item JESPERSON, DAVID - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Plant Breeding Reviews
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/25/2017
Publication Date: 11/5/2018
Citation: Harris-Shultz, K.R., Jesperson, D. 2018. Advances in DNA markers and breeding for warm and cool-season turfgrasses. In: Goldman, I.,editor. Plant Breeding Reviews. Volume 42, First Edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 119-165.

Interpretive Summary: Turfgrasses, which cover an estimated 163,800 km2 in the U.S., are used for home lawns, recreational areas, and along roadsides. Turfgrasses can be divided into warm-season and cool-season grasses and experience optimum shoot growth at 80-95 °F and 60-75 °F, respectively. DNA markers have been used for the different turfgrass species to assess genetic diversity and to identify areas of the genome that control traits of interest. In this review we discuss the progress that has been made in the molecular advances in turfgrasses, the information that has been discovered, and what challenges remain for the use of molecular markers in turfgrass for the development of the next generation of cultivars.

Technical Abstract: Warm and cool-season turfgrasses are used on lawns, parks, sport fields, golf courses and along highways and have many benefits such as erosion control, soil carbon sequestration, water filtration, heat dissipation, and providing aesthetic value. Although approximately 35,850 km2 in the United States are covered with managed turf and turfgrasses face a myriad of challenges such as abiotic and biotic stresses, molecular breeding for turfgrass is in its infancy as compared to other widely planted crops. This book chapter discusses the current state of molecular markers in warm and cool-season turfgrasses, and how they have been used from diversity studies to QTL analysis. Next-generation sequencing technologies can only help speed up the number of marker-trait associations but this information must be used in the latest releases of cultivars to have true impact.