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Variation within Poa Germplasm for Salinity Tolerance : a publication of the American Society for Horticultural Science

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As competition for water resources in areas of western North America intensify as a result of increasing human populations, the sustainability of turfgrass irrigation with limited water resources is questionable. A potential part of the solution is the use of recycled wastewater for landscape irrigation. However, as a result of high levels of salt, successful irrigation with recycled wastewater will likely need to be coupled with selection for increased salinity tolerance in turfgrass species. Additionally, salinity-tolerant turfgrass will allow production on soils with inherently high salt levels. The study described here characterized the relative salinity tolerance of 93 accessions of Poa germplasm from the USDA National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). Control cultivars of tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) S.J. Darbyshire], perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) were also evaluated for comparison. Kentucky bluegrass accessions exhibited a wide range of LD50 (salinity dosage necessary to kill 50% of plants) values from 811 ECdays (PI 369296 from Russia) to 1922 ECdays (PI 371768 from the United States). Five kentucky bluegrass accessions exhibited salinity tolerance equal to or better than that of the tall fescue (LD50 = 1815 ECdays) and perennial ryegrass (LD50 = 1754 ECdays) checks. Thus, there is sufficient variation within this species to develop bluegrass with substantially higher salinity tolerance.
Robins, Joseph G. , Bushman, B. Shaun , Waldron, Blair L. , Johnson, Paul G.
Includes references
HortScience 2009 Oct., v. 44, no. 6
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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