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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Cultivar Characteristics of Ethephon-treated Kentucky Bluegrass1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 3, p. 428-430
    Received: Aug 4, 1978

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  1. L. W. Nittler and
  2. T. J. Kenny2



Even though several characteristics useful for testing Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) for cultivar purity have been identified, additional characteristics are needed for distinguishing similar cultivars. The investigation reported here was conducted to determine if cultivar differences not observable on untreated plants would develop in response to ethephon (2-chloroethylphosphoric acid) treatment. Seedlings grown with sand-nutrient culture under continuous light were sprayed three times (at 3-day intervals) with 1,000 ppm ethephon solution. Plants were evaluated 52 days after seeds were planted (28 days after the first ethephon application). By this time stems had elongated, leaf blades were very short, red pigment development was different from that of untreated plants and crown type of some cultivars was modified by ethephon. Stems of ‘Windsor’ averaged 82 mm in length compared to 150 mm for ‘Victa’. Leaf blades of Windsor averaged 4 mm in length compared to 18 mm for ‘Park’. ‘Parade’ had the most plants with spreading or semispreading crowns and Windsor had the fewest. Treated plants of most cultivars had less red leaf sheath color than untreated plants but ethephon increased differences between certain cultivars in this regard. Some treated plants had small red areas at nodes only. ‘Touchdown’ had the most plants of this type and ‘Fylking’ had the fewest. Ethephon treatment, by inducing cultivar differences not observable on untreated plants, provides another useful tool for testing Kentucky bluegrass seed lots for cultivar punty.

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