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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Cultivar Response of Festuca rubra Seedlings to Aluminum1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 72 No. 5, p. 766-769
    Received: Sept 10, 1979

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



Even though several characteristics useful for testing fescue (Chewings fescue Festuca rubra var. commutata Gaud., and red fescue, Festuca rubra L. var rubra) for cultivar purity have been identified, additional methods 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 a high concentration of aluminum. Seedlings of 20 Chewings fescue and red fescue cultivars were grown in sand nutrient culture with a complete nutrient solution and with continuous light. Twenty-eight days after seeds were planted a solution of Al2(SO4)3 in water with a concentration of 216 ppm actual Al was applied to the surface of the sand until solution drained from the bottoms of the flats. Thereafter the Al solution was applied 6 days a week and a complete nutrient solution was applied once a week. Plants were evaluated 15 days after the first Al application. Cultivars differed in percentage of plants that developed purplish red leaf blades and also in the percentage of plants that developed necrotic leaf blades. Plants classed as having red leaf blades were 63% and 61% respectively for Kensington and Banner, and, at the other extreme, 16%, 24%, and 24% for ‘Ensylva’, ‘Fortress’ and ‘K4-21’. Plants classed as having necrotic leaf blades were 57%, 40% and 40% respectively for ‘Ruby’, Ensylva, and Fortress and 0% for ‘Banner’, 1% for ‘Highlight’ and 2% each for ‘Cascade’, ‘Encota’, and ‘Erika’. Cultivar differences were not great enough to place cultivars into discrete categories, but they were great enough to be useful for distinguishing contrasting types.

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