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Goals:The primary goal of this project is to develop improved turfgrass varieties with disease resistance, stress tolerance and excellent seed production. These varieties must be distinct and stable and perform well under a wide range of climates. There is a high demand for perennial ryegrasses, tall fescues, and fine fescues that contain the fungal endophyte that provides resistance to above ground feeding insects. Care must be taken to avoid endophyte strains that can cause choke that can replace productive seed heads. The cooperative breeding that is conducted with our northwest USA coast is an important part of our program. A vast majority of the seed production of cool-season turfgrass is conducted in the Northwest USAObjectives:Develop approaches to evaluate, utilize, enhance, and preserve turfgrass germplasm and useful endophytes from the USA, Europe, and Asia. Emphasis is on collecting sources of Kentucky bluegrasses, tall fescues, perennial ryegrasses, fine fescues, and colonial, creeping, and velvet bentgrasses.Develop germplasm for breeding and evaluation with emphasis on evaluation of single clonal mowed space plants and seeded single replicated turf plots in open-sun environments. Emphasis was placed on the genetic control of different growth habits in tall fescue and breeding for drought tolerance in tall fescue. This included screening large well adapted populations of tall fescue in a rain out shelter. Large single cloned (35,000) tall fescue plants were maintained each year with continued emphasis on breeding for stem and crown rust, gray leaf spot and brown patch resistance in tall fescue and on hybridization of Kentucky bluegrass and Kentucky x Texas bluegrasses with new winter active Kentucky bluegrass European sources. Continued emphasis is placed on breeding for resistance to the rusts in Kentucky bluegrass, dollar spot and red thread in fine fescue and red thread, dollar spot, gray leaf spot, and summer leaf spot in perennial ryegrass. A new emphasis was placed on developing turfgrass for low maintenance conditions with limited fertilizer, pesticides and water inputs. Selecting turfgrasses that were more persistent in Northwest US seed production fields is a high priority along with the development of perennial ryegrasses with larger seed size to allow for the separation of ryegrass from annual bluegrass. A project was started to develop tetraploid perennial ryegrasses that have larger seeds while maintaining a fine turf quality. These are being evaluated. There is a demand to select perennial ryegrasses with larger spikes and spikelets.Demonstrate the usefulness of these techniques in the development and release of improved germplasm and cultivars.Educate students and stakeholders.Publish and disseminate information.Maintain and monitor turfgrass cultivars developed at the New Jersey Agriculture Experiment Station to continue the assurance of quality seed.

Meyer, W, .; Vines, Ph, L.; Bonos, St, A.
Rutgers University
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