AuthorRalowicz, Andrew Edward.
AdvisorMancino. Charles F.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCurly mesquite (Hilaria belangeri (Steud.) Nash) is a palatable, nutritious range grass in the southwestern United states. A research project was initiated in 1988 on plant material collected within Arizona to determine the value of this species as a turfgrass, if sufficient genetic variation existed in vegetative , reproductive, and germination traits to allow for improvement of the turfgrass value by breeding, and if this species could be successfully established by seeding. curly mesquite can withstand the rigors of turfgrass cultural practices (mowing and fertilizing), while maintaining an attractive, healthy appearance. Plant material from five separate geographic origins was subjected to 5 cm and 10 cm heights of cut, and a no cut treatment, along with nitrogen applications of 0, 48, and 96 kg ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ in a randomized complete block split-split plot design. cutting at 10 cm, and application of 96 kg N ha⁻¹ yr⁻¹ produced the best color and highest ground cover. Control (uncut) plots exhibited low vigor and color. Broad-sense (h²(b)) and narrow-sense (h²(n)) heritability estimates were computed for measured and rated characters on clones and their open-pollination progeny grown at Safford (S) and Tucson (T), AZ. Estimates of h²(b) of measured characters were: leaf length 0.29 (S) and 0.45 (T), stature 0.83 (S) and 0.71 (T), and flowers•spike⁻¹ 0.40 (S) and 0.36 (T). Significant variation was not observed in leaf width. Significant h2 n estimates of 0.31, 0.51, and 0.30 were obtained for leaf length, stature, and flowers•spike⁻¹ , respectively. Broad-sense heritability estimates ranged from 0.46 to 0.79 for color, and 0.47 to 0.69 for density ratings. Cumulative germination percentages had h2 b estimates ranging from 0.45 to 0.61. Hard seed (%) and seed weight (mg 100 seed-l) had h²(b). estimates of 0.83 and 0.95, respectively. Successful seedling establishment occurred after June, July and August sowings. Ground cover at the close of the season was greatest for the June seeding. A significant difference did not exist between the ground cover means of seeding rates (1 and 2 gm m⁻²). The results of these investigations clearly warrant further efforts in the development of curly mesquite into a low maintenance turfgrass.
Degree ProgramPlant Sciences