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R.C. Shearman, H. Budak, S. Severmutlu, and R.E. Gaussoin

Little or no research information exists in the literature regarding recommended seeding rates of improved turf-type buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) cultivars, like `Bowie'. This research was conducted to determine the effect of bur seeding rate on turfgrass establishment of `Bowie' buffalograss. Two experiments were initiated on 21 July 2002 on diverse sites at the John Seaton Anderson Turfgrass Research Facility located near Mead, Nebr. Bur seeding rate effects on turfgrass quality, shoot density and cover, and seedling density were evaluated during the 2002 and 2003 growing seasons. Burs were seeded at 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and 40 g·m–2 (0.51, 1.0, 2.0, 4.1, and 8.2 lb/1000 ft2) of pure live seed (PLS). Turfgrass quality ratings increased linearly with bur seeding rate during the first growing season. However, by early in the second growing season, the response was quadratic with little or no difference in quality between 10 and 40 g·m–2. Turfgrass cover ratings responded in a similar manner to the quality ratings. Buffalograss is reported to establish slowly, taking more than one growing season to establish an acceptable level. In this study, `Bowie', a turf-type cultivar, had acceptable turfgrass quality (≥5.0) and cover (≥75%) ratings by 3 months at bur seeding rates of 5 to 40 g·m–2 of PLS, and acceptable quality and cover ratings were obtained at slightly over 1 month at rates of 20 to 40 g·m–2. These results indicate that bur seeding rates of 20 to 40 g·m–2 are advisable where rapid establishment of turf-type buffalograss is desired, and rates as low as 5 g·m–2 can be used when establishment within two growing seasons is deemed reasonable.

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H. Budak, R.C. Shearman, R.E. Gaussoin, and I. Dweikat

A simple marker technique called sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) provides a useful tool for estimation of genetic diversity and phenetic relationships in natural and domesticated populations. Previous studies and our initial screen showed SRAP is highly polymorphic and more informative when compared to AFLP, RAPD and SSR markers. In this study, applicability of the SRAP markers to obtain an overview of genetic diversity and phenetic relationships present among cool-season (C3) and warm-season (C4) turfgrass species and their relationship with other Gramineae species were tested. Phenetic trees based on genetic similarities (UPGMA, N-J) were consistent with known taxonomic relationships. In some cases, well-supported relationships as well as evidence by genetic reticulation could be inferred. There was widespread genetic variation among C3 and C4 turfgrass species. In Dice based cophenetic matrix, genetic similarities among all species studied ranged from 0.08 to 0.94, whereas in Jaccard based cophenetic matrix, genetic similarities ranged from 0.05 to 0.85. C3 and C4 species were clearly distinguishable and a close relationship between italian ryegrass and tall fescue were obtained based on SRAP. Genome structures of turfgrasses are comparable to other Gramineae species. This research indicates that the SRAP markers are useful for estimating genetic relationships in a wide range of turfgrass species. The SRAP markers identified in this study can provide a useful reference for future turfgrass breeding efforts.

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K.S. Erusha, C. Fricker, R.C. Shearman, and D.H. Steinegger

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R.C. Shearman, L.A. Wit, S. Severmutlu, H. Budak, and R.E. Gaussoin

Dormant buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides) turfs, grown under field conditions, were treated with a colorant and evaluated for turfgrass color, quality, and cover. In addition, turfgrass canopy and soil temperatures were measured. Colorant treatments improved turfgrass color and quality when compared to the untreated control, and resulted in a color response that appeared similar to cool season turfgrasses growing in areas adjacent to the studies. Colorant treatments increased canopy and soil temperatures, and enhanced spring green-up. These results support the use of colorants as a means of extending the green appearance, and enhancing dormant buffalograss turf performance.

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A.M. Rist, R.E. Gaussoin, R.C. Shearman, J.D. Fry, and W.W. Stroup

Golfers are demanding increased ball roll distances on a daily basis, but cultural practices to achieve this often are detrimental to the green. One option for increasing ball roll distance without altering cultural practices may be to select creeping bentgrass genotypes that provide less resistance to ball roll. Studies were conducted at the John Seaton Anderson Turfgrass and Ornamental Research Facility near Ithaca, Neb., and at the Rocky Ford Turfgrass Research Facility in Manhattan, Kans., to determine genotype and seasonal influences on golf ball roll distance. Eighteen creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) genotypes were evaluated. Genotype was not a significant source of variability, but the location × season interaction was. Significant seasonal differences in ball roll occurred at both locations. Ball roll distances for spring, summer, and fall were 98, 15, and 31 cm greater at the Nebraska test location than at the Kansas site. Correlations between turfgrass visual quality and ball roll distance were not significant. Therefore, the use of genotypes exhibiting high turfgrass visual quality will not necessarily result in longer ball rolls. Since there were no season × genotype or genotype × location interactions, ball roll distance on genotypes at each location changed similarly with season. Genotype selection appears to have little influence on ball roll distance under the conditions tested at these two locations.

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O. Gulsen, R.C. Shearman, K.P. Vogel, D.J. Lee, P.S. Baenziger, T.M. Heng-Moss, and H. Budak

Buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] has the potential for increased use as a turfgrass species due to its low maintenance and water conservation characteristics. This study was conducted to estimate diversity and relationships among naturally occurring buffalograss genotypes based on the nuclear genome, using sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. The 56 genotypes studied represented five ploidy levels collected from diverse geographic locations in the North American Great Plains. In addition, blue grama [Bouteloua gracilis (H.B.K.) Lag. Ex Steud.] and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) were included as outgroups. Twenty-five combinations of forward and reverse primers were used. Ninety-five intensively amplified markers were scored and used to infer diversity and relationships among the genotypes. All buffalograss genotypes were discriminated from each other with similarity values ranging from 0.70 to 0.95. Principal component analysis (PCA) suggested that the 56 genotypes could be reduced to 50 due to high similarity levels among some of the genotypes. The distance between buffalograsses, blue grama, and perennial ryegrass were consistent with current taxonomical distances. This research indicates that SRAP markers can be used to estimate genetic diversity and relationships among naturally occurring buffalograss genotypes.

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S. Severmutlu, N. Mutlu, R.C. Shearman, E. Gurbuz, O. Gulsen, M. Hocagil, O. Karaguzel, T. Heng-Moss, T.P. Riordan, and R.E. Gaussoin

Warm-season turfgrasses are grown throughout the warm humid, sub-humid, and semiarid regions. The objective of this study was to determine the adaptation of six warm-season turfgrass species and several of their cultivars to Mediterranean growing conditions of Turkey by evaluating turfgrass establishment rate, quality, color, and percentage of turfgrass cover. Information of this nature is lacking and would be helpful to turfgrass managers and advisers working in the region. A study was conducted over a 2-year period in two locations of the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The warm-season turfgrass species studied were bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), buffalograss (Buchloë dactyloides), zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica), bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), and centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiurioides). Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) was included as a cool-season turfgrass species for comparison. Twenty cultivars belonging to these species were evaluated for their establishment, turfgrass color and quality, spring green-up, and fall color retention. Bermudagrass, bahiagrass, and seashore paspalum established 95% or better coverage at 1095 growing degree days [GDD (5 °C base temperature)], buffalograss and centipedegrass at 1436 GDD, and ‘Zenith’ and ‘Companion’ Zoysiagrass had 90% and 84% coverage at Antalya after accumulating 2031 GDD. ‘Sea Spray’ seashore paspalum; ‘SWI-1044’, ‘SWI-1045’, ‘Princess 77’, and ‘Riviera’ bermudagrass; ‘Cody’ buffalograss; and ‘Zenith’ zoysiagrass exhibited acceptable turfgrass quality for 7 months throughout the growing season. ‘Argentine’ and ‘Pensacola’ bahiagrass; ‘Sea Spray’ seashore paspalum; and ‘SWI-1044’ and ‘SWI-1045’ bermudagrass extended their growing season by retaining their green color 15 days or longer than the rest of the warm-season cultivars and/or species in the fall. The warm-season species stayed fully dormant throughout January and February. Zoysiagrass and buffalograss cultivars showed early spring green-up compared to the other warm-season species studied. Results from this study support the use of warm-season turfgrass species in this Mediterranean region, especially when heat stress and water limitations exist. Tall fescue did not survive summer heat stress necessitating reseeding in fall.