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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Breeding Cwg-R Crested Wheatgrass for Reduced-Maintenance Turf

Authors
item Hanks, Justin - UTAH STATE UNIV
item Waldron, Blair
item Johnson, Paul - UTAH STATE UNIV
item Jensen, Kevin
item Asay, Kay

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 23, 2004
Publication Date: January 23, 2005
Citation: Hanks, J.D., Waldron, B.L., Johnson, P.G., Jensen, K.B., Asay, K.H. 2005. Breeding cwg-r crested wheatgrass for reduced-maintenance turf. Crop Science 45:524-528

Interpretive Summary: Using reduced-maintenance turfgrass in place of high-maintenance alternatives would conserve resources, reduce labor, and potentially reduce pollutants in the environment. CWG-R is an experimental population of crested wheatgrass from Iran that has shown improved low-maintenance turf potential than other crested wheatgrass populations and cultivars. This research was conducted to see if the turf quality of CWG-R could be improved. CWG-R plants were evaluated for turf quality using regular mowing and reduced irrigation and fertilization. Genetic variation was evident for spring regrowth, season-long and mid-summer turf quality, color, and rhizomatous spread. Several lines remained green throughout the summer months and maintained acceptable turf quality and color ratings during the critical mid-summer period. The high variation found should result in successful selection for improvement of low-maintenance turf traits, and thus potentially make CWG-R an important turf-type crested wheatgrass.

Technical Abstract: Using reduced-maintenance turfgrass in place of high-maintenance alternatives would conserve resources, reduce labor, and potentially reduce pollutants in the environment. CWG-R is an experimental population of crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.) from Iran that has shown improved low-maintenance turf potential than other crested wheatgrass populations and cultivars. The objective of this research was to estimate the genetic variation for low-maintenance turf traits within the CWG-R population when evaluated under a reduced-maintenance regimen. Ninety CWG-R clonal lines were established in 1998 as spaced-plant plots in a RCB design. Reduced-maintenance conditions included 50% ET0 replacement, 97.74 kg of nitrogen ha-1 year-1, and mowing at 7.62 cm. Critical low-maintenance traits, including spring regrowth, season-long (March-Oct.) and mid-summer (June-July) turf quality, color, and rhizomatous spread were evaluated in 1999 and 2000. Significant genetic variation among clonal lines was evident with broad-sense heritabilities of 0.71, 0.90, 0.82, and 0.81 for spring regrowth, season-long turf quality, color, and rhizomatous spread, respectively. Several clonal lines remained green throughout the summer months and maintained acceptable turf quality and color ratings during the critical mid-summer period. The high genetic variation found among clonal lines should result in successful phenotypic selection for improvement of low-maintenance turf traits, and thus potentially make CWG-R an important turf-type crested wheatgrass germplasm.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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