Full TGIF Record # 229475
Item 1 of 1
Publication Type:
Author(s):Busey, Philip
Author Affiliation:University of Florida
Title:Discussion IV: Breeding
Meeting Info.:Blacksburg, Virginia: June 22-24, 1987
Source:1987 Southern Turf Research Information Exchange Group:Meeting Record. 1987, p. 12-16.
# of Pages:5
Publishing Information:s.l.: Southern Research Information Exchange Group
Abstract/Contents:"New turfgrasses hold great interest in the southern U.S., for both scientists, industry personnel, and the general public. For the past year news about a grass developed in Alberta was widely circulated in national and local media. In addition to only needing three mowings per season, it could "eventually replace varieties used in lawns throughout the world." Besides, it reputedly exudes a natural herbicide, seldom needs watering, never needs fertilizing, and reproduces "sort of by immaculate conception." The absurdity of such claims underscores the enthusiasm for new grasses, but the general ignorance about their adaptive ranges. In other cases, "mystery grasses" have emerged which are names of warm-season grasses (Gulfstar, Mercedes, and Windsor) associated with no available performance information. As with the Alberta selection, it is sometimes not even reported what species of turf is involved, or what application are appropriate. Adequate adaptive information is often lacking for turfgrass cultivars, until years after their release and promotion. Even in cases of thorough and painstaking evaluation by plant breeders, grasses have been released with major deficiencies. Apparently, there is much work involved in the organized, comparative evaluation of turfgrasses, and there may be occasional conflicts between the need for adequate pre-release evaluation and the proprietary nature of some turfgrass germplasm. The NTEP (National Turfgrass Evaluation Program, USDA-ARS, and SAES cooperating) has provided broad adaptive information on existing cultivars, and has assisted in the development and demonstration of experimental genetic products. In ongoing research from nine locations, several public bermudagrasses from Mississippi (such as MSB-20) and New Mexico (such as NM-43) had quality rating comparable with the top-rated cultivar which was Tifway-II. Tall fescue evaluators at several southern locations (e.g., MS, NC, and VA) frequently picked out Arid and Apache in the most superior range of turf quality. The majority of experimental tall fescue accessions were superior to Kentucky-31. Great strides have been made, apparently, in reducing plants stature, while increasing density and darkness of color in this species. National trials are finally beginning to serve the warm-season turf region, although there are refinements in standardization which could still be suggested (uniformity of seed stock is essential for fair comparison of vegetative lines, and evaluation criteria could be better defined). The Coordinators of the NTEP are aware of the need for cross-location controls on evaluation criteria, and have offered to perform customized sub-regional analyses, which would be of additional value to the user. Although cultivar screening at some level is ongoing at all southern locations, whether or not a part of NTEP or a part of specific breeding programs, relatively recent and organized programs have been established in Louisiana (Burden Research Plantation) and Georgia (Savannah, Athens, Griffin), and North Carolina (cold tolerance results for centipedegrass). Considerable turf development work is directed to lower maintenance turf, and approaches include species mixtures, e.g. tall fescue/zoysiagrass mixtures (USDA-ARS, Beltsville); shorter seedheads on bahiagrass (USDA-ARS, Tifton; and FL, Fort Lauderdale); hexaploid bermudagrass (USDA-ARS, Tifton); and native species, e.g. buffalograss (TX, Dallas). One comment was made, that there has not been sufficient plant materials development to keep up with the apparent demand for native grasses on some golf courses. A persistent concern regarding cold tolerance adaptation has led to advanced cycles of bermudagrass hybridization, mutation breeding, and field evaluations (USDA-ARS, Tifton) and centipedegrass mutation breeding and evaluation (also USDA-ARS, Tifton). Other physiological traits (drought and high-N tolerance) are investigated. Extensive and well-defined germplasm are being developed in zoysiagrass (TX and USDA-ARS, Beltsville) and St. Augustinegrass (FL, Fort Lauderdale), while bermudagrass and centipedegrass germplasm at Tifton is being being augmented by ancestral and wild relative species of exotic origin. Research on turf establishment has been widespread, and usually tied to other aspects (e.g., herbicides (GA), sod production (FL) and low maintenance (FL and TX). Aspects of establishment that deserve increased emphasis from research include hydroseeding (where is it appropriate?), apparent clonal mixture in new cultivars (e.g., Tifway-II), and how to avoid this problem. Planting methods for vegetative materials (e.g., St. Augustinegrass) could be greatly improved by sprigging, in contrast to plugging."
ASA/CSSA/SSSA Citation (Crop Science-Like - may be incomplete):
Busey, P. 1987. Discussion IV: Breeding. 1987 Southern Turf Research Information Exchange Group:Meeting Record. p. 12-16.
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