Heritability Estimates of Turf-type Characteristics in Buffalograss

in HortScience
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0724
  • | 2 Department of Animal Science, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE68583-0908
  • | 3 Department of Horticulture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE68583-0724

Buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm] is a drought-resistant, dioecious species, native to the Central Great Plains, which shows excellent potential as a low-maintenance turfgrass. Although buffalograss can be propagated vegetatively, there is a need for seeded turf-type cultivars. To assist in developing seeded cultivars, heritabilities of turf characteristics were estimated. Heritabilities from maternal half-sib analyses ranged from h2 = 0.04 ± 0.03 for the 1988 uniformity rating to h2 = 0.62 ± 0.26 for the 1989 spring color rating. Heritability estimates calculated from offspring-parent regression were also variable and generally lower than maternal half-sib analysis. The results suggest that some turf characteristics are highly heritable and that growing conditions markedly affect heritability estimates.