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Patricia Sweeney, Robert Golembiewski, and Karl Danneberger

Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers from leaf tissue extractions are effective for discrimination of turfgrass varieties. The usefulness of RAPD markers for turfgrass variety identification can be enhanced by use of seed rather than leaf tissue for DNA extraction. To determine whether DNA extracted from turfgrass seed was suitable for amplification, DNA was extracted from bulk samples and individual seeds of bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], chewings fescue (Festuca rubra var. commutata Gaud.), Poa annua L., Poa supina Schrad., creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stolonifera L. var. palustrus (Huds.) Farw.], Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). All samples were successfully amplified using an arbitrary primer. Amplification intensity varied among species. With an almost infinite number of arbitrary primers available, it is likely that suitable primers can be found to amplify DNA from most turfgrass species. Amplification of turfgrass seed DNA, whether bulk or individual seed, is possible and should prove more useful than amplification of leaf tissue DNA for discrimination of turfgrass varieties.

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L.R. Nelson, J. Crowder, and H.B. Pemberton

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) has traditionally been used to overseed warm-season grasses in the southern U.S. when warm-season sods are dormant due to chilling temperatures. In this study we investigated overseeding turf-type annual ryegrass (two cultivars of L. multiflorum and one cultivar of L. rigidum) and chewing fescue (Festuca rubra var. commutata) as well as perennial ryegrass onto a warm-season common bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) sod. The objective was to compare turf quality, turf color, and transition date of turf-type annuals with perennials and other cool-season grasses. Results for turf quality indicated that the annual ryegrass cultivars `Axcella' and `Panterra' (L. multiflorum) compared very well with perennials through March; however, in April and May, perennials were superior for quality. `Hardtop' fine fescue is a hard fescue (F. ovina var. duriuscula). It was inferior to the annuals for turf quality from December to April when the annuals began to die. For turf color, annuals had a lower rating compared to dark green perennials such as `Premier II', `Derby Supreme', or `Allstar'. `Panterra' was darker compared to `Axcella' in March and April. Chewing fescue was intermediate in color compared to annuals and perennials. For turf height, `Axcella' was taller than `Panterra', which were both taller than the perennials, and the fine fescues were shorter than the perennials. For transition in the spring, the annuals had a shorter transition and died about 1 month earlier than the perennials. `Transtar' (L. rigidum) had an earlier transition than the other annuals. The perennials tended to have a longer transition period. The fescues had a very long transition period and were similar to the perennials.

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D.S. Gardner and J.A. Taylor

In 1992, a cultivar trial was initiated in Columbus, Ohio to evaluate differences in establishment and long-term performance of cultivars of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), creeping red fescue (F. rubra), chewings fescue (F. rubra ssp. fallax), hard fescue (F. brevipila), kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), rough bluegrass (P. trivialis), and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) under low maintenance conditions in a shaded environment. Fertilizer and supplemental irrigation were applied until 1994 to establish the grasses, after which no supplemental irrigation, or pesticides were applied and fertilizer rates were reduced to 48.8 kg·ha-1 (1 lb/1000 ft2) of N per year. Percentage cover and overall quality data were collected in 2000 and compared with data collected in 1994. Initial establishment success does not appear to be a good predictor of long-term success of a cultivar in a shaded environment. There was some variability in cultivar performance under shade within a given turfgrass species. The tall fescue cultivars, as a group, had the highest overall quality and percentage cover under shade, followed by the fine fescues, kentucky bluegrass, rough bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass cultivars.