hard fescue

Rapid detection of fine fescue root diseases

By Ming-Yi Chou, University of Wisconsin-Madison

PCR tubes, the negative samples show no fluorescence and the positive samples do show fluorescence.

Summer patch is a common and devastating fungal disease of fine fescues. Many major turfgrass species are susceptible to summer patch. A more thorough description of summer patch disease and the causal agents have been previously discussed. As mentioned in the articles, summer patch can be caused by several closely related fungal species and their microscopic structures are similar making it difficult to diagnose and apply targeted treatments.

Genotypic variation in heat tolerance for hard fescues

By Cathryn Chapman, Ryan Daddio, Henry Qu, and Bingru Huang; Rutgers University

2 rows of five plants. The top row has plants that are green and alive and the bottom row has plants that are yellow and dead

Hard fescues are often utilized for their low input maintenance requirements, but are susceptible to heat stress. With annual temperatures rising, there is both a demand for more heat-tolerant hard fescue turfgrasses and a demand for effective strategies for assessing phenotypic traits to select or screen for heat-tolerant genotypes in hard fescue.

A reference genome library

By Shaun Bushman, USDA-ARS

Grass plants evenly spaced in research plots

Much like a library contains books of different types and tons of information, a ‘reference genome’ is a library of all the sequences in that genome.  In plant genomes, there are tens of thousands of expressed genes, sequence motifs that pinpoint telomeres and centromeres, large swaths of repeat regions, and other pieces of DNA that do not code proteins but tend to affect gene function.  The recent improvements in DNA sequencing have allowed us to sequence the genome of hard fescue (Festuca brevipila).

Genotypic variation in heat tolerance and post-stress recovery for hard fescue

By Cathryn Chapman and Bingru Huang, Rutgers University

a series of 5 images demonstrating the effects of the days of heat stress over time

Heat stress can limit the growth of cool-season turfgrass species and inhibit important metabolic processes and functions, which can negatively impact the overall aesthetic qualities of the turfgrass canopy. Damages to the turfgrass canopy due to heat stress can be severe and permanent if turfgrass plants experience prolonged temperature conditions that are above the optimal level.

Video: Optimal Seeding Timings for Fineleaf Fescue from Rutgers University

Man standing outside in front of white board

Turfgrass researchers from Rutgers recently produced many interesting videos as part of their 2020 Virtual Turfgrass Research Field Day. This video features Brad Park, a laboratory researcher at Rutgers who conducts research as part of our Low Input Turf project, discussing research on optimal seeding times for fine fescues.

Video: Fine Fescue Breeding from Rutgers University

Stacy Bonos video

Turfgrass researchers from Rutgers recently produced many interesting videos as part of their 2020 Virtual Turfgrass Research Field Day. This video features Dr. Stacy Bonos, a turfgrass breeder at Rutgers who collaborates on our Low Input Turf project, discussing Rutger's fine fescue breeding program.

Heat tolerance in fine fescue species

Rows of small containers of turfgrass with varying degress of heat stress

By Bingru Huang, Rutgers University

Heat stress is a primary limiting factor for the growth of cool-season turfgrass species, as the optimal temperature for these species are between 60 and 75 oF, but summer temperatures in many areas are often much higher than this temperature range. One of the most desirable traits for cool-season turfgrasses, such as fine fescue, is good heat tolerance, which enables sustainable turf growth through hot summer months with reduced inputs.

Choosing fine fescues for summer patch and snow mold resistance

Research plot with turfgrass starting to grow in after winter. Plots to the left are much greener than those on right.

By Paul Koch, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Fine fescues are thought to be more disease resistant than other turf species, and in general that’s true. However, a closer look reveals that not all fine fescue species are equally resistant to all turf diseases. Even more confusing, those fine fescue species that are more resistant to certain diseases are often more susceptible to other diseases.