Competitiveness of agrostis interspecific hybrids in turfgrass swards

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Transgenic herbicide-resistant cultivars of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) have been developed and are being considered for commercial release. Concerns regarding transgenic species include potential for outcrossing of the crop, which may produce novel genotypes with increased weediness. Persistence and multiyear growth of interspecific hybrids between creeping bentgrass and velvet bentgrass (A. canina L.), colonial bentgrass (A. capillaris L.), dryland bentgrass (A. castellana Boiss. and Reut.), and redtop bentgrass (A. gigantea Roth) and the backcross progeny of the hybrids were compared with the parental species in field experiments. The plants were evaluated over 2 yr in residential Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) and a low maintenance roadside turf of mixed species. With the exception of redtop bentgrass by creeping bentgrass interspecific hybrids, all interspecific hybrids between creeping bentgrass and colonial, dryland, and velvet bentgrasses were equally or less competitive relative to their parental species. Backcross progeny of interspecific hybrids, including those of redtop bentgrass by creeping bentgrass hybrids, were equally or less competitive than parental species. Bentgrasses that were highly competitive in residential turf were also competitive under roadside maintenance, suggesting bentgrasses have weediness potential regardless of management intensity.

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