Golf Course Management

SEP 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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09.18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 75 to eradicate if the grass is being replaced. In comparison, triploid interspecific hybrid ber - mudagrass cultivars do not produce seed or pollen (Figure 6), and their rhizomes are shal - low, which makes them easier to manage and prevents them from being invasive. How easy is it to distinguish between a hybrid and an interspecific hybrid? Common hybrid bermudagrass is usually coarser and produces lower-quality turf than interspe - cific bermudagrass hybrids. A relative trait comparison of the two types of bermuda - grasses is summarized in Table 1 and Figure 7. However, this comparison is relative and may not be the most reliable identifier. e best technique is to count the chromosomes of the cultivar, which needs to be done scien - tifically and should be the responsibility of the developer of the cultivar. e oldest and most precise method is to count the chromo - somes (Figure 8) in root tips of the cultivar, but many laboratories do not use this tech - nique any longer. Today, most laboratories use a flow cytometer to measure the quantity of DNA in cells. is technique is reliable, but one has to have a reliable control bermu - dagrass cultivar with a known chromosome number to serve as the standard. Triploid in - terspecific hybrids usually have 2n = 27 chro- mosomes. Common hybrids usually have 2n = 36 chromosomes (4). The last word e information presented in this article stems from approximately 50 years of re - search, experience and long-term observations of the way things have worked out over time. Budgets, costs, availability, environmental challenges and the desired method of plant - ing — seed vs. sod or sprigs — will all affect cultivar choice. As new hybrid and triploid interspecific hybrid bermudagrasses are devel - oped in the future, we hope this commentary will help the purchaser to evaluate the positive and negative attributes of each type of bermu - dagrass. Consumers should specifically ask whether a cultivar is a hybrid or a triploid in - terspecific hybrid and should expect to receive a clear answer. Literature cited 1. Hanna, W.W., and W. Anderson. 2008. Development and impact of vegetative propagation in forage and turf bermudagrasses. Celebrate the Centennial (A Supplement to Agronomy Journal ). S-103-S-107. 2. Hanna, W.W., B.L. Burson and B.M. Schwartz. 2016. Trait Bermudagrasses Common hybrid Triploid interspecific hybrid Seed production yes no Pollen production yes no Deep rhizomes yes few Turf quality lower higher Internode length longer shorter Rate of establishment faster slower Weed potential higher low Note: This table was prompted by discussions a number of years ago with Kevin Kenworthy at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Table 1. Relative comparison of traits between common hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) and triploid interspe - cific hybrid bermudagrass (C. transvaalensis x C. dactylon) hybrids. Figure 6. Anthers in flowers of bermudagrass: Anthers of common hybrid bermudagrass (left) dehisce (open to spread pollen), but the spongy anthers of triploid interspecific hybrid (right) remain closed and do not dehisce. Trait comparison between common hybrid and triploid interspecific hybrid bermudagrass

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