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Crop Science Abstract -

Competitive Turgor Maintenance in Tall Fescue


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 32 No. 1, p. 251-256
    Received: Dec 17, 1990

    * Corresponding author(s):
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  1. R. H. White ,
  2. M. C. Engelke,
  3. S. J. Morton and
  4. B. A. Ruemmele
  1. Crop Science Dep., North Carolina State Univ., Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695



Economical, rapid methods are needed to identify drought-tolerant turfgrasses. Objectives of this study were to (i) examine water relations of three tall rescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) selections, (ii) determine the relationship between these characteristics and recovery from water deficit under greenhouse conditions, and (iii) assess the feasibility of using a competitive soil moisture extraction technique to select tall rescue germplasm with superior drought tolerance. Three tall rescue selections were vegetatively propagated and grown together in 38-L weighing lysimeters to allow interplant competition for available soil moisture. Adequate irrigation and fertilizer were applied for 12 wk after planting; irrigation was then withheld for 8 wk. Tiller survival among selections ranged from 2 to 37% and plant survival ranged from 22 to 76% at 4 wk after irrigation was resumed. Survival was associated with low basal osmotic potential before stress and osmotic adjustment, prolonged positive turgor maintenance, and delayed leaf rolling during stress. Leaf rolling scores, and tiller and plant survival during competitive soil moisture extraction were easily assessed indicators of tall fescue germplasm drought tolerance.

TAES Technical Article no. 29068. Supported in part by a grant from the U.S. Golf Assoc.-Green Section.

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