Breeding Programs Update 2017–2018
Sod Solutions has partnered with universities and state associations in joint breeding efforts that bring together Universities, Sod Producers, and Sod Solutions to develop and evaluate the next generation of turfgrass technology. Below is a status and summary of each sponsored program.
Turf Research Florida (TRF) Zoysia Program:
University of Florida – IFAS, Turfgrass Producers of Florida (TPF) and Sod Solutions
Leading Researcher: Dr. Kevin Kenworthy
Initial Crosses: 2005
Current status: The best performing progenies were tested in 5 locations across Florida (ITN), 16 locations across the country (NTEP) and additional 5 locations under SCRI. SCRI is a federal grant program featuring some of the nation’s top turfgrass breeding universities collaborating to evaluate one another’s lines for drought tolerance and disease resistance across a wide geographical area. The top lines from this evaluation are listed below. Each line is planted in 5,000 – 7,500 sqft strips for evaluation at multiple locations.
- FAES 1312 – Medium/Course bladed texture, similar to Empire, with very good wear and overall quality. Establishment Performed: better in northern Florida.
- FAES 1313 – Medium/Fine bladed, excellent wear/overall quality, winter and drought tolerance. Low thatch and good disease tolerance.
- FAES 1319 – Medium bladed, similar to Meyer. Excellent wear/overall quality. Establishment similar to Empire with better regrowth. Winter color retention is excellent and shade tolerance is moderate. Widely adapted and most consistent performer across all 16 test locations. #1 overall NTEP entry in 2014 & 2016.
Other lines of interest to be further evaluated: FAES 1336 (Course), FAES 1318, FAES 1322 (Medium) and FAES 1307 (Fine).
TPF – St. Augustine Breeding Program
Leading Researcher: Kevin Kenworthy
Initial Crosses: 2010
- 20 lines selected and advanced to further testing in 2015.
- 8 lines selected for advanced replicated trials in Texas, Florida and North Carolina.
Current Status: the advanced lines will be tested for 2 years. Three are showing very good potential:
- FSA 1602 – Unique course blade with large stolons and blue-green color. Tough with good shade tolerance, winter color, and has shown less grey leaf spot than Floratam.
- FSA 1606 – Dark green color and dwarf growth habit. Rapid establishment.
- FSA 1610 – Dark green color and dwarf growth habit. Genetic color may lead to reduced nitrogen. Good shade tolerance, root system, and winter color. Vigorous growth.
TRNC – Turf Research North Carolina
NC State University – North Carolina Sod Producers Association, and Sod Solutions
Leading Researcher: Dr. Susana Milla-Lewis
Initial crosses: 2009
Current status: The best 8 lines are being evaluated in a replicated trial in Texas, Florida and North Carolina, planted in the summer of 2017.
TRBC – Turf Research Bermuda for California
Oklahoma State University – A-G Sod and Sod Solutions
Leading Researcher: Dr. Yanqi Wu
Initial crosses: 2012
Current status: February 2017 data indicated that lines: #8, 26, 27, 44, 47, and 55 retained good winter color. Drought tolerance evaluations are ongoing.