The inheritance of cold tolerance and turf traits in a seeded bermudagrass population

Low temperature tolerance is a principal factor limiting the use of seeded bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon var. dactylon (L.) Pers.]. Therefore, increasing the winter tolerance of seeded bermudagrass cultivars has been a goal of turfgrass breeders for many years. Breeding methods for developing cultivars with increased tolerance to cold temperatures and superior turf characteristics could be improved by having accurate heritability estimates for cold tolerance and other turf performance traits. Parental clones and their respective polycross half-sib families were established in a randomized complete block design with four replications in 2004 in Lexington, KY. Significant genetic variances were estimated for all traits except density, turf quality and color retention 2006. Narrow-sense heritability estimates were found to range from 0 to 0.91 using the parent–offspring covariance method for estimating heritability. All heritabilities for spring green-up were significantly (p < 0.01) different from 0. Positive predicted genetic gains were calculated for color, color retention, spring green-up, and texture. These results indicate that genetic gains could be achieved if selections were made for these traits in this population.

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