Monday, November 13, 2006

EST-SSR analysis of Tall Fescue genetic diverstiy.

Scott Warnke, USDA ARS, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Building 010-A, Beltsville, MD 20705 and Keenan Amundsen, USDA-ARS, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Building 010-A, Beltsville, MD 20705.

Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a cool season grass commonly used as a turfgrass in the central portion of the United States.  Tall Fescue is well adapted to areas that may experience drought during summer months.  However, tall fescue is very susceptible to Rhizoctonia brown patch a common turf disease caused by several Rhizoctonia species. In order to determine the location of tall fescue germplasm with potential resistance to brown patch 20 EST-SSR primer pairs developed at the Noble foundation were used to screen 20 plants from each of 20 tall fescue cultivars and plant introductions.  In additions a bulked DNA sample of all 20 plants in a sample was screened with the same 20 EST-SSR primer pairs.  The results provide an estimate of the level of genetic diversity in cultivated tall fescue cultivars and plant introductions and may provide a starting place for breeding efforts to improve Rhizoctonia brown patch resistance in tall fescue.