Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 10:00 AM

Physiological Mechanisms Associated With Bentgrass Species Variation in Drought Resistance.

Michelle DaCosta and Bingru Huang. Rutgers University, 59 Dudley Rd, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Bentgrasses (Agrostis spp.) are primarily utilized for high maintenance, close-cut turf for golf course tees, greens, and/or fairways in cool, humid climatic regions of the United States.  Even though their use has increased, bentgrass species are among the least studied cool-season grasses in terms of drought tolerance.  Research projects were designed to determine species variability in drought resistance for colonial (A. capillaris L.), creeping (A. stolonifera L.), and velvet (A. canina L.) bentgrasses, and to evaluate the major physiological mechanisms associated with drought resistance in these bentgrass species.  In general, velvet bentgrass exhibited the highest turfgrass quality and least sensitivity to drought stress and colonial bentgrass declined the most rapidly in response to drought.  The better turf performance of velvet bentgrass was associated with lower water use, higher water use efficiency, greater capacity for osmotic adjustment, and prolonged maintenance of the antioxidant defense response.