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.

Top Lines

  • 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.

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