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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #367328

Research Project: Improved Plant Genetic Resources and Methodologies for Rangelands, Pastures, and Turf Landscapes in the Semiarid Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Tolerance to salt stress imposed on cultivars of three turfgrass species: Poa pratensis lolium

Author
item Bushman, Shaun
item Robbins, Matthew
item Robins, Joseph
item Thorsted, Kimberly
item HARRIS, PAUL - Utah State University
item JOHNSON, PAUL - Utah State University

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2019
Publication Date: 12/14/2019
Citation: Bushman, B.S., Robbins, M.D., Robins, J.G., Thorsted, K., Harris, P., Johnson, P.G. 2019. Tolerance to salt stress imposed on cultivars of three turfgrass species: Poa pratensis lolium. Crop Science. 60(3):1648-1659. https://doi.org/10.1002/csc2.20014.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/csc2.20014

Interpretive Summary: Cool-season turfgrasses can be subjected to salt stress through a variety of sources, and selection for salt tolerance is an increasingly high priority. Two of the main turfgrass species in temperate regions are perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass, and greenhouse evaluations have occurred to rank and characterize salt tolerance in each species. However, salt tolerance in a field setting in a semi-arid climate has not been tested, and the genetic mechanisms by which each species specifically responds to salt stress is still unclear. In this study, we evaluated salt tolerance of 22 perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass entries in a field setting, and compare their tolerances to alkaligrass cultivars. Using electrolyte leakage and turf green cover, tolerant and susceptible cutivars and accessions were identified from both species. Transcriptome level gene expression analysis was applied on a subset of the entries, and 62 differentially expressed transcripts were shared among the three species with a preponderance of transcripts involving carbohydrate metabolism, oxidation-reduction processes, and ion transport within the cell. Upon further gene enrichment analysis of KBG, more transcripts in those three categories were found. The differentially expressed transcripts represent mechanisms by which PRG and KBG respond to salt stress, as well as targets for selection for salt tolerance.

Technical Abstract: Cool-season turfgrasses can be subjected to salt stress through a variety of sources, and selection for salt tolerance is an increasingly high priority. Two of the main turfgrass species in temperate regions are perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass, and green house evaluations have occurred to rank and characterize salt tolerance in each species. However, salt tolerance in a field setting in a semi-arid climate has not been tested, and the genetic mechanisms by which each species specifically responds to salt stress is still unclear. In this study, we evaluated salt tolerance of 22 perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass entries in a field setting, and compare their tolerances to alkaligrass cultivars. Using electrolyte leakage and turf green cover, tolerant and susceptible cultivars and accessions were identified from both species. Transcriptome level gene expression analysis was applied on a subset of the entries, and 62 differentially expressed transcripts were shared among the three species with a preponderance of transcripts involving carbohydrate metabolism, oxidation-reduction processes, and ion transport within the cell. Upon further gene enrichment analysis of KBG, more transcripts in those three categories were found. The differentially expressed transcripts represent mechanisms by which PRG and KBG respond to salt stress, as well as targets for selection for salt tolerance.