EVALUATION OF NATIVE BERMUDAGRASS (CYNODON DACTYLON) GERMPLASM FROM ITALY FOR THE SELECTION OF ADAPTED TURFGRASS CULTIVARS
Bermudagrass is a warm-season species with good density, texture, and wear tolerance that makes it very suitable for high-quality turf. Its drought and heat tolerance also make it appropriate for turf use under the Mediterranean conditions of Italy. However, the research on bermudagrass in Italy has been scanty so far, and all the available cultivars are of foreign origin. To valorise native genetic resources of turfgrass species, and favour the development of local cultivars, 25 Italian bermudagrass populations, mostly collected in Mediterranean environments, were evaluated for a two-year period at two contrasting locations for overall turf quality, leaf texture, turf density, and duration of turf green colour. At both locations, a group of six populations, originating from Sardinia, oustandingly emerged from the native germplasm, and also with respect to a set of commercial cultivars used as references. The six populations exhibited very high turf quality, high density, fine texture, and longer duration of the turf green colour. These populations obviously represent material of great interest for future breeding activity.
Romani, M., Piano, E., Carroni, A.M. and Pecetti, L. (2004). EVALUATION OF NATIVE BERMUDAGRASS (CYNODON DACTYLON) GERMPLASM FROM ITALY FOR THE SELECTION OF ADAPTED TURFGRASS CULTIVARS. Acta Hortic. 661, 381-386
genetic resources, leaf texture, Mediterranean environments, turf quality, warm-season grasses