See more from this Session: Robert F Barnes Graduate Student Competition
Monday, November 1, 2010: 3:45 PM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 203B, Second Floor
Tall fescue’s native geographical range begins along the North African Coasts and Strecheches to northern latitudes of Europe. This geographical range has allowed tall fescue to develop specific traits unique to those environments. Most of this diversity, like in many crops, has not been assessed. Many traits that would improve the growth and survivability in diverse environments are only beginning to be understood and used in commercial crops. These studies focused on the responses of both Continental and Mediterranean tall fescue (2n=6x=42) and Festuca arundinacea var. atlantigena St. Yves (2n=8x=56). The leaf extension rate (LER) of the fastest individual were three times greater at 4.2 mm day-1 compared to the slowest growing individual at 1.4 mm day-1 and Kentucky 31 was about 2.5 mm day-1. The octoploids types were similar to the Continental tall fescue’s LER. Proline was shown to increase dramatically in Continental types having on average fivefold higher level than Mediterranean types. However, surprisingly the simple sugar levels and the storage components (i.e. fructans) where nearly the same. Lastly, endophyte status has shown to have an effect during abiotic stresses of drought and high temperatures, however it appears that this response is not present during cold acclimation and freezing stresses even though the plants utilize similar and in some instances identical pathways and genetic responses.