Broadening the Genetic Base of Bermudagrass


EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE, vol.79, no.3, pp.183-194, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 79 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.183-194
  • Keywords: C. dactylon, C. transvaalensis, diploid, hexaploid, interspecific hybrids, SEED, GROWTH, SRAP, TEMPERATURES, FERTILITY, MARKERS, CLONES
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Broadening the genetic base of cultivated plant species is crucial for breeding. A large genetic variation exists for common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] in the Mediterranean region, shown to be within the center of diversity for the species. Thus, the objective of this study was to develop turf type tetraploid bermudagrass lines. Five local hexaploid C. dactylon var. dactylon genotypes were crossed with diploid C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy (African bermudagrass) during June-October 2011. The seeds were germinated and seedlings grown in pots. Hybrid individuals were determined via sequence related amplified polymorphic (SRAP) molecular markers. Thirty four percent of the 910 seedlings were found to be true hybrids, and 60 % (182) of these were selected for their turfgrass characteristics and transplanted into the field along with commercial bermudagrass cultivars (Riviera', 'Tifway', 'Princess 77') and parental lines at a density of four plugs per m(2). The experimental design was a randomized complete block design with three replications, established at Akdeniz University, Antalya on 28 July, and Alata Horticultural Research Station, Erdemli, Mersin, Turkey on 5 August 2012. Establishment rate (plot coverage), fall colour retention, spring green up, turfgrass colour and quality, seed head density, leaf texture, and growth habit were assessed from August 2012 to September 2013. One year after establishment, the turfs were subjected to drought stress for 45 days, which was followed by resumption of irrigation for recovery of the turf. Percentage of leaf firing under drought stress, and post-drought stress turf recovery were recorded. Significant variations existed for establishment rate, growth habit (prostrate vs. upright), seed head density (0-756 seed heads per m(2), leaf texture (very fine to coarse), drought resistance; colour and turf quality among hybrids. Morphological and adaptive traits were significantly correlated with each other at varying magnitudes. Turfgrass quality was significantly and positively associated with spring green up (r = 0.74), leaf texture (r = 0.45), establishment rate (r = 0.53) and turf recovery after drought stress (r = 0.35), indicating possibility for. indirect selection. The hybrid genotypes with superior turf characteristics and drought resistance can be. used to develop new, better adapted tetraploid bermudagrass cultivars for landscaping and sports turf.