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Maurizio Giolo, Stefano Macolino, Erica Barolo and Filippo Rimi

Bermudagrass is the most widely used warm-season turf species in the transition zones of Europe. The Venetian valley (northeastern Italy) is a typical transitional zone, characterized by cold winters and hot summers, where the performance of bermudagrass mostly depends on cold tolerance and duration of winter dormancy. A 2-year field study was conducted from May 2009 to July 2011 at the agricultural experimental farm of Padova University. The objective of this study was to assess the relationships occurring between spring green-up of seeded bermudagrasses and their nonstructural carbohydrates and crude protein (CP) content in stolons during late winter. The cultivars used were ‘Caribe’, ‘Mohawk’, ‘Princess-77’, ‘Sultan’, ‘SWI 1012’, and ‘Jackpot’. The plots were seeded in May 2009 and turf samples were collected in Mar. 2010 and 2011 for determination of stolons dry weight, diameter, and content of carbohydrates and CP. ‘Princess-77’ had lower content of starch in stolons compared with the other cultivars and was characterized by late spring green-up. The cultivars tested showed wide differences in stolons morphology (dry weight and diameter), whereas there were poor diversity for CP and water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) in both years of research. Correlation analyses indicated a negative relationship between the days of the year necessary for spring green-up and stolons starch content and also between CP and starch. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between stolons starch and diameter, suggesting that spring green-up may be enhanced by selection of high starch-accumulating cultivars having coarse stolons.