Journal of Agricultural Science and Botany

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Research Article - Journal of Agricultural Science and Botany (2018) Volume 2, Issue 2

Low-maintenance turfgrass potential of crested, thickspike and western wheatgrass germplasm

Traditional cool-season turfgrass species, such as Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum [Schreb.] Darbysh.), provide high quality turfgrass for athletic and aesthetic uses. Unfortunately, this high level of quality often comes at a cost of high levels of inputs in the forms of irrigation and fertilization. Therefore, there is a growing need and demand to produce turfgrass with lower inputs, particularly irrigation. Herein, we describe a study of the turfgrass potential of crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn.), thickspike wheatgrass (Elymus lanceolatus [Scribn. & J.G. Sm.] Gould) and western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii [Rydb.] Á. Löve) when managed under low irrigation. We found that these species generally exhibited lower percent ground cover than tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass under reduced irrigation, but that they exhibited darker green color. We identified a large range of phenotypic values and generally high narrow sense heritability (h2>0.5) for turf quality within these species, particularly for thickspike and western wheatgrass. Selection for increased turfgrass quality in these wheatgrass species has a high likelihood of developing improved turfgrass cultivar in these species.

Author(s): Joseph G Robins*, B Shaun Bushman

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