Submitted to: Germplasm Release
Publication Type: Germplasm Release
Publication Acceptance Date: September 30, 2003
Publication Date: May 2, 2004
Citation: Jones, T.A., Nielson, D.C., Young, S.A. 2004. Registration of cucharas green needlegrass germplasm. Germplasm Release. Technical Abstract: Cucharas green needlegrass (Nassella viridula [Trin.] Barkworth) germplasm (Reg. no. ,PI 632556) was released 13 Jan. 2003 as a selected class of certified seed (natural track). This class of prevariety germplasm is eligible for seed certification under guidelines developed by the Association of Seed Certifying Agencies (2001). Participating in the release are the USDA-ARS and the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station. Cucharas is intended for use in the central Great Plains. Cucharas was collected as T-872 on July 11, 1993 by T.A. Jones along highway 10 near Cucharas Junction, Huerfano County, CO (37degree 39'45" N 104degree 42'10" W), about 7 km northeast of Walsenburg. No intentional selection has been performed on this accession. Associated plant species at the site were the native species western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii [Rydb.] A. Love), blue gramma (Bouteloua gracilis [Kunth.] Lag. ex Griffiths), and fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens [Pursh] Nutt.); the introduced smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.); and such ruderal introduced species as Kochia scoparis (L.) Schrad., Lepidium sp., and Melitotus sp. Elevation of the site is about 1829 m. T-872 was established in May 1994 at Greenville Farm (North Logan, UT) in an evaluation of 30 green needlegrass accessions from Alberta, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico. T-872 had the highest and third-highest germination without prechill for 1995 and 1996-harvested seed, respectively. T-872 was compared to 'Lodorm' (Schaaf and Rogler, 1960; 1970) and 'AC Mallard' in a test at Richmond Farm (Richmond, UT) established in April 2000. Non-prechill germination of 2001-harvested seed was 31.9% for Cucharas, 16.7% for AC Mallard, and 10.8% for Lodorm. High seed dormancy is recognized as a factor limiting stand establishment in green needlegrass, and genetic variation for this trait has been established (Rogler, 1960). Seed from the Greenville Farm evaluation (G-1) was used to establish a seed increase (G-2) also at Greenville Farm, in September 1998, which was harvested in 2000 and 2001. Seed of the G-2 generation will be maintained by the USDA-ARS Forage and Range Research Laboratory, Logan, UT, and seed of G-3 and G-4 generations will be made available to growers by the Utah Crop Improvement Association. Seed through the G-5 generation will be eligible for certification, but sale of Cucharas seed beyond generation G-5 is expressly prohibited to limit genetic shift. Small quantities of seed will be provided to researchers on request to the corresponding author. Appropriate recognition should be made if this material contributes to the development of a new breeding line or cultivar.