PHYSIOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR FACTORS AFFECTING HEAT AND DROUGHT TOLERANCE IN COOL-SEASON TURFGRASSES

Project Details

Description

Global warming and declining water availability for irrigation are becoming increasingly concerned in turfgrass management due to their sensitivity to heat and drought stress. Creeping bentgrass is one of the most widely used species on putting greens and fairways, but heat and drought stress often limit its growth and cause quality decline, particularly in warm climatic regions during summer months. Much of the genetic improvement of turfgrass, including creeping bentgrass, has been achieved through conventional breeding techniques, and breeding efforts in recent years have led to the development of genotypes with improved stress tolerance. However, the traditional breeding progress is limited largely due to lack of superior stress-tolerant grass germplasm and because of poor understanding of physiological and molecular mechanisms for perennial grass tolerance to drought stress. To increase the probability and efficiency of obtaining superior new cultivars, it would be advantageous to identify candidate genes controlling desirable traits in turfgrass, such as stress tolerance. By identifying important genes controlling heat tolerance and developing markers to assist in selection, cultivars with improved stress tolerance could be developed more efficiently. Useful markers for heat and drought tolerance will be identified in this project and can subsequently be used in selection of heat/drought tolerance in breeding programs. In addition, new markers may be identified via comparison of newly characterized bentgrass germplasm. We anticipate providing turfgrass breeders with a useful set of markers for use in MAS heat and drought tolerance in bentgrass.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/1/127/31/17

Funding

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))

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