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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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Jinmin Fu, Jack Fry, and Bingru Huang

Deficit irrigation is increasingly used to conserve water, but its impact on turfgrass rooting has not been well documented. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of deficit irrigation on ‘Falcon II’ tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) root characteristics in the field using a minirhizotron imaging system. The experiment was conducted on a silt loam soil from the first week of June to mid-Sept. 2001 and 2002 using a mobile rainout shelter under which turf received applications of 20%, 60%, or 100% of actual evapotranspiration (ET) twice weekly. Neither soil water content (0 to 25 cm) nor tall fescue rooting between 4.1- and 50.1-cm depths was affected by irrigation at 60% compared with 100% ET. Despite consistently lower soil water content, tall fescue irrigated at 20% ET exhibited an increase in root parameters beginning in July or August. Tall fescue subjected to 20% ET irrigation had greater total root length and surface area on two of five monitoring dates in 2002 compared with that receiving 100% ET. Evaluation of tall fescue rooting by depth indicated that root proliferation at 20% ET was occurring between 8.7- and 36.3-cm depths. As evaluated under the conditions of this experiment, turfgrass managers using deficit irrigation as a water conservation strategy on tall fescue should not be concerned about a reduction in rooting deep in the soil profile, and irrigation at 20% ET may result in root growth enhancement.

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Peter H. Dernoeden, John E. Kaminski, and Jinmin Fu

Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.; CBG) is a common weed in home lawns and golf course roughs in many regions of the United States. Currently, no herbicides are registered for selective control of CBG in cool-season grasses. The objective of this field study was to evaluate the ability of mesotrione and triclopyr ester to selectively remove CBG from Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Mesotrione (0.14 and 0.21 kg·ha−1 a.i.) and triclopyr ester (0.56 and 1.12 kg·ha−1 a.i.) were applied on a 2-week interval two, three, or four times in Connecticut and Maryland in 2005, and three or four times in Maryland in 2006. Two applications of mesotrione at 0.21 kg·ha−1 a.i. provided marginally acceptable CBG control, but three or four applications at 0.14 or 0.21 kg·ha−1 a.i. provided excellent CBG control. Mesotrione elicited little or no injury to Kentucky bluegrass, but generally caused objectionable injury in tall fescue for about 7 to 14 d after each application. Triclopyr applied at 0.56 kg·ha−1 a.i. reduced CBG cover, but the level of control generally was unacceptable, regardless of application frequency. Three or four applications of triclopyr (1.12 kg·ha−1 a.i.) effectively controlled CBG in Connecticut in 2005 and Maryland in 2006. Triclopyr caused no visual injury to tall fescue, regardless of rate or application frequency. Four triclopyr applications to Kentucky bluegrass, however, were phytotoxic and reduced stand density, especially at the high rate (1.12 kg·ha−1 a.i.). Three summer applications of mesotrione (0.14 kg·ha−1 a.i.) or triclopyr (1.12 kg·ha−1 a.i.) provided the best combination of turfgrass safety and CBG control. Chemical names used: [(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy]acetic acid (triclopyr ester); 2-[4-(methylsulfonyl)-2-nitrobenzoyl]-1,3-cyclohexanedione (mesotrione)

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Jinmin Fu, Jack Fry, and Bingru Huang

Understanding turfgrass physiological responses to deficit irrigation will help explain potential effects of this practice on turf quality and subsequent stresses. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of deficit irrigation growth and physiology of ‘Falcon II’ tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb) and ‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud). Turf was subjected to deficit irrigation levels of 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100% of actual evapotranspiration (ET) from June to Sept. 2001 and 2002 in Manhattan, Kans. In an earlier study, minimum deficit irrigation levels required to maintain acceptable quality (MDIL) were determined. We compared growth and physiological parameters at these MDIL with turf irrigated at 100% ET. Tall fescue had a lower canopy vertical growth rate (30% lower), canopy net photosynthesis (Pn, 14% lower), and whole-plant respiration (Rw, 11% lower) in 1 of 2 years when irrigated at the MDIL compared with 100% ET; tiller number was not reduced at the MDIL. Water use efficiency (μmol CO2 per mmol H2O) in tall fescue increased by 15% at the MDIL relative to turf receiving 100% ET in 1 of 2 years. In zoysiagrass, the MDIL had no effect on any of the growth or physiological parameters measured. Reductions in canopy vertical growth rate at the MDIL in tall fescue during deficit irrigation would likely reduce mowing requirements. Across all deficit irrigation levels, Pn was more sensitive to deficit irrigation in both grasses than was Rw, which could potentially contribute to declines in canopy vertical growth rate, tiller number, and turf quality. Zoysiagrass exhibited higher water use efficiency than tall fescue, particularly at irrigation levels 60% or more ET.

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John B. Workman, Patrick E. McCullough, F. Clint Waltz, James T. Brosnan, and Gerald M. Henry

events ( Anonymous, 2004 ). Quinclorac, a highly selective auxin herbicide, has shown to be safe when applied at seeding of annual bluegrass ( Poa annua L.), tall fescue ( Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), perennial ryegrass ( Lolium perenne L.), and fine

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Erick Amombo, Huiying Li, and Jinmin Fu

overly sensitive, FaZnF = Festuca arundinacea zinc finger protein, MAPKs = mitogen-activated protein kinases. Literature Cited Achevaleta, M. Bacon, C.W. Hoveland, C.S. Radcliffe, D.E. 1989 Effect of the tall fescue endophyte on plant response to

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Mark G. Lefsrud, John C. Sorochan, Dean A. Kopsell, and J. Scott McElroy

Kentucky bluegrass ( Poa pratensis L.) and tall fescue ( Festuca arundinacea Schreb.; syn., Lolium arundinaceum Darbyshire) are cool-season grasses commonly used for lawns in temperate regions of North America. However, these grasses can be