See more from this Session: Graduate Student Poster Competition
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Tall fescue’s native range encompasses a wide geographical area from the Mediterranean region to the high altitudes of the Alps to the northern latitudes of Europe. This geographical range has allowed tall fescue to develop specific traits unique to those environments. Having continued high growth rates under cold temperatures is an important and beneficial trait for tall fescue. However, the plants must have high survivability and quick green-up for agronomic viability. Currently, tall fescue is a major forage crop in the U.S. where Kentucky 31 is the dominate cultivar. However, to expand the range and utility of this forage novel traits must be identified and introgressed into this crop. By introducing genes responsible that extend the growing season further into the fall, having high winter survival and rapid green-up in the spring, fewer stored forages are needed by livestock operations during the winter months. To identify QTLs this population (n=200) was grown in three locations—Wisconsin, Central Missouri, and Southwest Missouri. Fall growth, measured by leaf extension rate (LER), was taken in late October through early December. Both winter survivability and green-up were taken the following spring. For fall growth roughly a 3x difference was observed from the slowest to the fastest growing individual. Additionally, winter survivability had a range of 0 to 100% with an average of 47% across all years and locations.