Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Growth and reproductive development in selected cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass given different durations of exposure to floral inductive conditions Public Deposited

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  • Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars are known to differ quantitatively in their photothermal floral inductive requirements. The extent to which these requirements are met influences the potential for subsequent panicle exsertion. A better understanding of the inductive requirements as they vary among cultivars would aid in the selection and management of cultivars for maximum seed yields. This study was designed to evaluate the response of three Kentucky bluegrass cultivars to differing floral inductive exposure durations in controlled environment chambers and in two contrasting climatic areas. Plants of three Kentucky bluegrass cultivars 'Bristol', 'Victa', and 'Vantage' were exposed to inductive conditions in a controlled environment chamber for periods ranging from 25 to 209 days. Tillers of these plants were labelled to record their emergence dates at monthly intervals during the inductive period. Plants of each cultivar were also exposed to the field inductive conditions in two climatic areas for periods ranging from 23 to 161 days. The quantitative nature of induction at each area was examined by observing the plants for the number of panicles produced and for the rate of panicle exsertion after transfer from the field to controlled environment chambers programmed to promote floral initiation. Changes in leaf area (LA), leaf number per tiller and specific leaf weight (SLW) were also evaluated. The two areas, Madras and Gervais, differed climatically during the fall and winter inductive season. Night temperatures were lower and light energy levels were higher at Madras than at Gervais. Leaf area measurements demonstrated that more growth occurred for the plants grown at Gervais. The Gervais plants had fewer leaves per tiller than the Madras plants. A significant interaction between cultivars and locations was observed for the rate of panicle exsertion. The environment at Gervais was more favorable for Bristol, relative to Victa and Vantage than that of Madras in terms of the number of panicles exserted per plant and the rate of panicle exsertion. Controlled environment studies showed that Victa was most dependent on tillers which had emerged early for subsequent panicle production. In contrast, panicle production in Bristol and Vantage was equally distributed among tillers of each emergence date. The seed yields of varieties such as Bristol and Vantage, which can exsert panicles from late formed tillers may benefit by placement into production areas which promote fall and winter growth.
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