Turfgrass Characteristics of Prairie Junegrass Germplasm Accessions
- Matthew D. Clarka and
- Eric Watkins *a
Prairie junegrass [Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Shultes] is a perennial, short-grass prairie species distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This species demonstrates tolerance to many environmental stresses in Minnesota. Forty-eight K. macrantha accessions from the United States National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) were grown under low-input conditions to evaluate turfgrass quality characteristics for use in a breeding program. A second objective was to identify key geographical locations for germplasm collection. The experiment was conducted at Becker and St. Paul, MN. Nineteen accessions at Becker and 30 accessions at St. Paul performed with an adequate turf quality rating of 5.0 or higher when averaged over the 3-yr study, suggesting the potential for use in low-input areas. Prairie junegrass from northern collection regions displayed the highest spring green-up ratings, an important turf trait in northern climates. There was a negative correlation between this trait and mowing quality at Becker (r = −0.44) and at St. Paul (r = −0.34). Several accessions had acceptable mowing quality and would be candidates for integration into a native prairie junegrass turfgrass breeding program. There was no correlation between inflorescence emergence and turf quality, or between inflorescence emergence and persistent straw suggesting that flowering does not necessarily affect turf quality ratings. Rust (unknown Puccinia species) was present at both locations.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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