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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 17 No. 5, p. 727-732
    Received: Dec 17, 1976

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Photosynthesis and Cold Hardening in Zoysia and Bermudagrass1

  1. R. A. Rogers,
  2. J. H. Dunn and
  3. C. J. Nelson2



Objectives of this research were to evaluate ultrastructural and physiological factors associated with cold-hardening in the field of three bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) and three zoysia (Zoysia spp.) cultivars. Cold tests of rhizome tissue in December showed that zoysia cultivars survived colder temperatures than bermudagrass cultivars which agrees with most field observations. Midwest zoysia and Midway bermudagrass were the most low temperature tolerant of their respective genera.

During October, ultrastructural changes occurred which indicated differences between hardy and non-hardy cultivars. For example, bermudagrass chloroplasts took on a globular shape compared with an elongated shape in late summer. Chloroplasts of zoysia cultivars usually showed no alteration in shape in October.

During November in 1973 and 1974, plots of both zoysia and bermudagrass appeared to be only 10 to 12% green, but green tissue of zoysia was four to eight times more photosynthetically active than that of bermudagrass. Amylolytic enzyme activity was also higher in zoysia at that time. Grana lamellae of chloroplasts of green zoysia tissue were mostly still intact in November, but were usually damaged in bermudagrass. The higher photosynthetic rate observed in zoysia compared to bermudagrass during the cold hardening period would be an advantage since carbohydrate could be conserved or used to prepare the plant cells for winter when little or no growth was occurring.

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