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New Developments in Tall Fescues and Use Strategies.

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Presentation on theme: "New Developments in Tall Fescues and Use Strategies."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Developments in Tall Fescues and Use Strategies

2 Leah A. Brilman, Ph.D. Research Director Seed Research of Oregon

3 The Breeding Process 1. Establish a goal 2. Identify breeding material 3. Cross selected parent plants (clones) 4. Progeny Trials 5. Verification Trials 6. Varietal increase

4 Goals for Tall Fescues Improved brown patch resistance Rhizomes for recovery Improved establishment Drought avoidance and recovery Improved root growth Maintenance of turf density Improved recovery Traffic tolerance and recovery Reduced elongation and mowing Good aesthetics - Dark color, fine textured

5 Tall Fescue for Sports Why use tall fescues for sports turf? Wear tolerant once established Drought tolerant - non-irrigated sites Survives low maintenance Problems for sports turf Recovery from wear slow Reestablishment slow Less thatch or cushion Determining best other species for blends Best varieties for sports may not be available

6 Identify Breeding Material Existing varieties or breeding populations Survivors in trials with high stress Collections Old cemetaries, parks, sports fields Related Species Genetic Engineering-Biotechnology

7 Identify Breeding Material Screen for disease resistance - brown patch resistance in Missouri

8 Identify Breeding Material Survivors in trials with high stress

9 Identify Breeding Material Survivors in trials with high stress - acid soil/drought stress in Georgia

10 Cross Selected Parent Plants (Clones) Small to medium block of plants (from 2 (common in Europe) to over a hundred) The progeny or offspring that are grown from the seed are called half-sibs

11 Progeny Trials (Repeated 2 to ? times) Select superior progeny Root evaluations Spaced plants Turf plots Evaluated usually from 2 to 4 years Evaluate progeny for production Seed Yield, Disease resistance Repeat the cycle

12 Progeny Trials Root evaluations

13 Goals for Tall Fescues Improved brown patch resistance No complete genetic resistance found Incidence related to nitrogen, leaf wetness, nightime temperatures Leaf wetness related to turf density Many strains of brown patch - poor correlation in resistance across sites Wider leaves - less disease Selection - reduced density, semi-dwarfs Genetic engineering, Hybrids?

14 Brown Patch Screening Plant clonal nursery of tiller plants Mow, fertilize, innoculate w/ multiple strains Select best plants and clone into another location Best plants crossed with each other and susceptible plants Identify inheritance and genetics - may be possible to find genes for resistance Can look at other turf traits at same time

15 Brown Patch Screening

16 Goals for Tall Fescues Rhizomes for recovery Primary observation on spaced plants - not in dense sod Kentucky bluegrasses vary in rhizome expression in dense sod Bluegrasses develop rhizomes at 28 days Red fescues develop rhizomes much later Tall fescues in greenhouse have few rhizomes at 70 days, significant at 7 months

17 Goals for Tall Fescues Rhizomes for recovery Longest rhizomes in Mediterranean germplasm but turf quality not high Rhizomes occur primarily in open areas Other turf qualities must be considered - density, diseases resistance Tall fescues need time before wear applied Combine with transitional ryegrass, bluegrass for sports turf

18 Tall Fescue Rhizomes

19 Goals for Tall Fescues Improved establishment Faster establishment Establishment under lower soil temperatures Multiple cycles of selection Still influenced by production dormancy Less dormancy when seed produced in moist environment Dormancy broken by winter storage Need germination and rapid growth - same varieties may not be NTEP winners

20 Goals for Tall Fescues Grub Resistance Current endophytes do not have enough alkaloids in root system to help Grub resistance important for drought tolerance Some endophytes increase root growth enough to help Screen for drought resistance then insert beneficial endophytes

21 Verification Trials 1. Turf Trials NTEP - Ancillary Trials Additional trials - unique characteristic 2. PVP trials Establish unique variety Morphological traits Physiological traits Disease resistance

22 How to Use the NTEP


24 Find location and management Closest to site Same management Similar environment with same management Specialized trials - traffic or sod strength Traffic trials - need ones that emulate sport and location Fall/spring wear, summer wear, winter-active growth

25 NTEP data Usually on permanent turf Not at seeding rates commonly used Management often different than user Usually without traffic or with artificial traffic Need traffic sooner with higher seeding rates Color often overides other important characters

26 Genetic studies Tall fescue is hexaploid - more difficult to study One set of chromosomes from meadow fescue = perennial ryegrass Noble Foundation - Expressed Sequence Tags Identify genes differentially expressed in drought or heat stressed plants Develop markers from these tags Apply marker assisted selection

27 Genetic Modification Primary targets to date have been forage targets Reduced lignin content - may improve mowing but would not improve wear tolerance Successful in tissue culture and transformation Maybe useful in brown patch resistance if correct gene could be found

28 Future Work Evaluation for traffic resistance Need traffic with drought Continued selection of tall fescues under drought and disease stress Identification of other selection techniques Trials with other species

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