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Genetic Diversity of Warm-Season Turfgrass: Seashore Paspalum, Bermudagrass, and Zoysiagrass Revealed by AFLPs

Chen, Zhenbang, Wang, Ming Li, Waltz, Clint, Raymer, Paul
Floriculture and Ornamental Biotechnology 2009 v.3 no.1 pp. 20
genetic variation, amplified fragment length polymorphism, Paspalum vaginatum, Cynodon dactylon, Zoysia japonica, Zoysia matrella, Zoysia tenuifolia, golf courses, turf grasses, cultivars, genetic polymorphism, germplasm, cultivar identification
Three major types of warm-season turf grass , including seashore paspalum (Paspalurn vaginaturn Swartz), bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.], and zoysiagrass [Zoysia japonica Steud, Zoysia rnatrella (L.) Merr., and Zoysia tenuifolia auct.] cover many of the golf courts and sport fields in southem regions of the U.S. Improvement of turfgrass cultivars has been mainly based on the selection from natural mutations or genetic variations resulting from recombination of different ecotypes or species (hybrid bermudagrass and zoysiagrass). Genetic diversity among species and among turfgrass cultivars within species (including 10 seashore paspalum cultivars, 14 bermudagrass cultivars, and 24 zoysizgrass cultivars and elite lines) was assessed using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Among species, the polymorphism level of zoysiagrass is higher than bermudagrass and the polymorphism level of bermudagrass is higher than seashore paspalum. Our results demonstrated that AFLP is one of the useful DNA marker systems for quickly revealing the level of genetic diversity among species and assessing the genetic diversity of different turf grass cultivars within the species. However, some released turf grass cultivars could not be differentiated in this report by AFLP markers because they were developed from the parents that are closely related genetically. To enhance turfgrass breeding efficiency, different types of DNA marker systems should be used for evaluating turfgrass germplasm. Based on genetic diversity evaluation, more diverged parents should be selected and used to make crosses for developing new turf grass cultivars.