Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 9:30 AM

Genetic Variability and Relationships for Adaptive, Morphological and Biomass Traits in Chinese Bermudagrass Accessions.

Yanqi Wu1, Charles Taliaferro2, Dennis Martin3, Jeff Anderson4, and Mike Anderson2. (1) Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University Plant and Soil Sci Dept, 368 Ag Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, (2) Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 368 Ag Hall, Stillwater, OK 74075, (3) 360 Agricultural Hall, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Stillwater, OK 74078-6027, (4) Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University, 360 Ag Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078

Bermudagrass, Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers, is geographically widely distributed and represents the most important taxon in the genus in terms of its extensive uses for turf, forage, soil stabilization and remediation. The warm-season, sod forming grass is indigenous to China, but limited information is available regarding genetic variability and relationships for adaptive, morphological and biomass traits in the Chinese germplasm. Accordingly, a field experiment using a randomized complete block design with three replications was conducted to characterize the variability of 114 Chinese clonal accessions for sod establishment rate in 2001, four adaptive and 17 morphological traits, and biomass in 2002 and 2003 at Stillwater, Oklahoma. ‘Tifsport’, ‘Tifway’, ‘Midland’ and ‘Tifton 44’ were used as controls in the field experiment. Significant differences (P<0.05) and large genetic variability existed for all visually rated or physically measured traits in the Chinese accessions. Winter kill was positively correlated with weed prolificacy, but negatively with spring greenup descriptors. Morphological traits were significantly and positively correlated with varying magnitudes. Stepwise selection of regression and path coefficient analyses both indicated selection for plant height and adaptive capability in introduced bermudagrass germplasm should be the best indirect selection traits for increased forage yield. The large amount of genetic variability among the Chinese accessions should be a valuable resource for the development of improved turf and forage cultivars.