Ahrens, Collin , Auer, Carol .
The population genetics of feral creeping bentgrass and cultivated turfgrass on a golf course.
Agrostis stolonifera (creeping bentgrass) is a perennial turfgrass species commonly used on golf courses. However, the same species is often found as a weed in cultural landscapes and natural areas,creating questions about the potential for gene flow if transgenic creeping bentgrass were utilized in U.S. golf courses. In two previous studies, we established the distribution of creeping bentgrass in a cultural landscape surrounding a Connecticut golf course, and in 10 habitat types spanning two ecoregions. Our habitat suitability modeling study showed that 36% of the area around a golf course (8.5 km2 study site) provided highly suitable habitat for A. stolonifera and related species. Our transect study (190 transects) showed that A. stolonifera had unequal distribution across habitat types, was more common in the inland ecoregion (especially in roadsides and meadows), and was frequently found in plant communities containing closely-related Agrostis species. The aim of this study is to use molecular markers (microsatellite SSR) to establish the relationship between feral populations and cultivated creeping bentgrass on a golf course. DNA samples have been collected from individuals in the golf course, three populations outside the golf course, and common cultivars grown in the greenhouse (e.g. A4, Crenshaw). PCR was performed using primer pairs for eight microsatellite markers (see Reichman et al., 2011) and fragment analysis was conducted. The results have been analyzed in STRUCTURE, NTSYS-pc, and GeneMarker. Preliminary results suggest that the golf course plants belong to the same conceptual genotype observed for at least one feral individual found outside the golf course. Further analysis of all populations, outgroups, and cultivars will indicate whether gene flow (via pollen or stolons) from golf course populations has contributed to feral bentgrass populations nearby. Supported by a grant from the USDA Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grant program.
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1 - University Of Connecticut, Department Of Plant Science, 111 W. Main St, # 2, Stafford Springs, CT, 06076, USA
2 - University Of Connecticut, Plant Science, 1390 Storrs Road, U-4163, Storrs, CT, 06269, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Location: Portland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Tuesday, July 12th, 2011
Time: 9:15 AM