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Hiroko Sato, Tadashi Takamizo, Tsutomu Shimizu, Kiyoshi Kawai, and Koichiro Kaku

Tall fescue ( Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) is a major cool-season perennial grass species. It is widely used not only as forage in pastures, but also as turf for lawns, golf courses, athletic fields, roadsides, and other places. Tall fescue is an

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Jin-wei Zhang, Yi-xue Liu, Jin-ping Yu, Wei Zhang, Ya-qiong Xie, and Ning-ning Ge

, 1979 ). Festuca arundinacea Schreb. is a very important cool-season turfgrass plant ( Charles et al., 1991 ). It can be planted from the northeast to the Yangtze River region of China because of its high resistance to drought, flooding, saline

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Yanhong Lou, Liang Chen, Qingguo Xu, and Xunzhong Zhang

Tall fescue ( Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), a cross-pollinated, hexaploid, cool-season perennial grass, has been widely grown as an important forage and turf grass throughout the world ( Aiken and Strickland, 2013 ; Seal, 1983 ). The grass belongs

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Lili Zhuang, Mengxian Liu, Xiuyun Yuan, Zhimin Yang, and Bingru Huang

Aquaporin (AQP) proteins serve important roles in regulating water movement across cellular membranes and affect plant responses to drought stress. The objective of this study was to characterize and examine functions of an AQP gene FaPIP2;1, isolated from a drought-tolerant perennial grass species tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), for involvement in leaf dehydration status during water stress by overexpressing the gene in arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). FaPIP2;1 had characteristic transmembrane domains and Asn–Pro–Ala motifs and was similar to PIP2;1 in rice (Oryza sativa) and maize (Zea mays). Quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that FaPIP2;1 was upregulated during moderate water stress (hydroponic culture, osmotic potential (ΨS) at −0.47 and −0.78 MPa) and the transcript level decreased as ΨS further decreased. Transgenic arabidopsis plants overexpressing FaPIP2;1 showed greater number of leaves per plant and improved survival rate compared with the wild type (WT) during drought stress. Transgenic plants also maintained higher leaf relative water content (RWC), chlorophyll content (Chl), net photosynthetic rate (Pn), and lower leaf electrolyte leakage (EL) than the WT. However, there was no difference in root length between the transgenic and WT plants following drought stress. The results demonstrated that overexpressing FaPIP2;1 could improve plant tolerance to drought stress by enhancing leaf water status, Chl, and photosynthetic rate, as well as maintaining improved cellular membrane stability relative to the WT plants. FaPIP2;1 may be used as a candidate gene for genetic modification of perennial grasses to develop new drought-tolerant germplasm and cultivars.

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Michael W. Smith, Becky S. Cheary, and Becky L. Carroll

Newly planted pecan (Carya illinoinensis Wangenh. C. Koch) trees were grown for 3 years in a tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Shreb. CV. Kentucky 31) sod with vegetation-free circles 0, 0.91, 1.83, 3.66, or 7.32 m in diameter. Trees were irrigated to minimize growth differences associated with water competition from fescue. There were no differences among treatments in total shoot growth after 1 year, but trunk growth was increased by vegetation-free areas. During the second year, trees with a 0.91-m-wide vegetation-free area had twice as much shoot growth, and trunks were twice the size of those without a vegetation-free zone. The third year, trees with a 0.91-m-wide vegetation-free circle had 403% more new shoot growth, and trunks were 202% larger than those without a vegetation-free zone. Cumulative shoot growth was up to 559% greater with vegetation control. Tree growth was similar with a 1.83- or 3.66-m-wide vegetation-free circle, and trees in both treatments were larger than trees with 0- or 0.91-m-wide vegetation-free zones. Extending the vegetation-free zone to 7.32 m wide was not advantageous.

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L.B. McCarty, J.R. Haun, and L.C. Miller

Methods for detecting and mathematically regressing daily tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) leaf appearance on environmental variables are presented. Morphological stages of leaf development were quantified and the rate of leaf appearance was linearly regressed on environmental variables. The following model was developed to predict daily tall fescue leaf appearance and was successfully tested on unrelated data: Daily leaf appearance rate = 0.016 – (2.48 × 10-4 × solar radiation) + (0.015 × precipitation 2-day lag) + (0.117 × soil moisture 3-day lag) + (8.79 × 1 0-6 × maximum air temperature × solar radiation) - (3.61 × 10-' × maximum air temperature × age) + (0.00307 × minimum air temperature × precipitation) – (4.39 × 10-4 × precipitation × age), (R2 = 0.78). Growers of tall fescue and researchers will benefit in the identification of environmental characteristics and cultural practices that significantly influence leaf appearance rate.

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D.C. Bowman and L. Macaulay

Comparative evapotranspiration (ET) rates of 20 cultivars of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) were measured over 7 days in a greenhouse study. Small but significant differences in ET rates existed between the cultivars grown under nonlimiting water and nutrient conditions on day 1 following mowing. Greater differences had developed after 7 days of growth, with ET ranging from a low of 10.0 mm·day-1 for `Shortstop' to a high of 13.5 mm·day-1 for `Alta'. Day 7 ET was positively correlated (r = 0.82) with clipping dry weight. Six of the tall fescue cultivars were selected for a subsequent experiment to determine the stability of relative rankings for ET over time. Although average ET varied by up to a factor of two among five dates, the rankings were nearly identical for the five dates and were consistent with the rankings in the first experiment.

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J.M. Goatley Jr., A.J. Powell Jr., M. Barrett, and W.W. Witt

Laboratory studies were conducted to determine the basis for chlorsulfuron selectivity between Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L. cv. Kenblue) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb. cv. Rebel). Tall fescue absorbed and translocated more foliar-applied [14C]-labeled chlorsulfuron from the treated leaf than Kentucky bluegrass. The two species absorbed similar amounts of chlorsulfuron from nutrient solution into the roots, but tall fescue translocated more of the absorbed radioactivity to the shoots. Tall fescue metabolized chlorsulfuron in the shoots slightly more slowly than Kentucky bluegrass. Allof these factors apparently contributed to the higher tolerance of Kentucky bluegrass than of tall fescue to chlorsulfuron. Chemical name used: (2-chloro-N-[[4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5 -triazin-2-yl)amino]-carbonyl] benzenesulfonamide) (chlorsulfuron).

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J.A. Doty, W.S. Braunworth Jr., S. Tan, P.B. Lombard, and R.D. William

Evapotranspiration (ET) of three perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) cultivars and one cultivar each of colonial bentgrass (Agrostis tenuis L.) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea L.) was measured in the field. Soil water depletion was measured with a neutron probe. Under minimal maintenance (i.e., no irrigation and infrequent mowing), ET was not significantly different for five perennial grasses. All grasses used more water than the bare-ground treatment. Soil water uptake was greatest in the upper soil layer (O to 25 cm) and decreased with depth. Few differences in water uptake were noted among grasses within each soil layer.

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Anita R. Bahe and Charles H. Peacock

Grass clippings may comprise a minimum of 35% of yard waste. We investigated whether bioavailable herbicide residues in grass clippings used as mulch would be toxic to desirable plants. In each of three experiments, tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) was treated with a mixture of 2,4-D + dicamba + MCPP at 0.5 g total a.i./m2. Clippings were collected at 1-, 5-, 10-, and 15-day postspray intervals. Clippings at gram equivalent weights relative to desired mulching depths were applied to tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), salvia (Salvia splendens F.), and marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia Cav.) grown in pots. Plant dry-weight comparisons were made at two destructive harvest intervals, from 2 to 5 weeks after mulching. No mulch and nontreated mulch treatments were used as controls. Growth of tomato and marigold was enhanced when nontreated grass mulch was used compared to no mulch, but growth of cucumber and salvia was not enhanced. The bioavailable residues relative to the postspray interval (1 to 15 days) influenced growth of all species. Mulching depth affected growth of all species, except salvia. Herbicide-treated mulch reduced dry weight by ≤80% for cucumber, 73% for tomato, 65% for marigold, and 34% for salvia compared to controls. Herbicide residues apparently increased with mulching depth, resulting in a cumulative effect inhibiting plant growth. Chemical names used: 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); 2-(2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxy) propionic acid (MCPP); and 3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid (dicamba).