Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) is an important turfgrass species used extensively on golf courses. It is highly susceptible to the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia homoeocarpa F.T. Bennett, the causal agent of dollar spot disease. There is a wide range in degree of susceptibility among current cultivars, with a limited number that have improved resistance. Colonial bentgrass (A. capillaris L.), a related species, has good resistance to dollar spot. We have produced interspecific hybrids between creeping bentgrass and colonial bentgrass and field-tested them against dollar spot. Some of the hybrids had excellent dollar spot resistance, exhibiting essentially no disease symptoms. This is the first formal report of evaluation of interspecific hybrids between creeping bentgrass and colonial bentgrass for an agronomically important trait. The results presented here suggest that the use of interspecific hybrids may be a useful new approach in Agrostis breeding programs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science