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Ecological characterization of supina bluegrass (Poa supina Schrad.) germplasm from the Italian Alps

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A collection was carried out in the Italian Alps to gather local genetic resources and acquire information on the ecological adaptation of supina bluegrass (Poa supina Schrad.), a cool-season grass native to the Alpine region in Europe. It has potential for pastures and a growing interest for turfs, owing to excellent traffic, shade and cold tolerance. Available germplasm for research and breeding is scant, and extensive collections are needed to enable further development of adapted materials. Alpine germplasm has already proved valuable for breeding at lower altitude in pioneering selection work carried out in Germany. Extensive exploration throughout different environments, mostly above 1600 m elevation, yielded fifty-five novel populations. Collections largely occurred in environments exposed to heavy disturbance by livestock, but it was also frequently found on very poor substrates along mountain paths and dirt roads, or around buildings. Some populations were present locally in shaded environments. Preliminary ex-situ observations indicated likely among-population variation to occur for important traits of breeding relevance such as disease and drought tolerance. Genetic variation for adaptive traits, although unproven, is hypothesized given the diversified habitats where the species was collected across the Italian Alps.
Pecetti, L. , Johnson, R.C. , Romani, M. , Bassignana, M. , Della Marianna, G.
Includes references
Grass and forage science 2011 Mar., v. 66, no. 1
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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