As should be obvious from the discussion above, grass systematics is not for the faint of heart. The life history strategies inherent in the grass family involve promiscuous interfertility among species, polyploidy within species, and an astounding capacity for adaptation. While these characteristics have contributed to instability in grass classification (and more revisions are surely to be proposed), it is these same phenomena that make the Poaceae such an intriguing group of plants. Ongoing research in cytology and breeding are converging with data arising from newer, molecular methods (see Chapter 21 and Chapter 22) to expand our understanding of these grasses. Agronomic breeding of desirable traits into new cultivars will benefit from this research, which should enhance utilization of grasses for forage and turf.

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