Grasses in the closely related genera Festuca and Lolium are perhaps the most widely studied of all forage grasses. Besides the enormous role they play in grassland agriculture in temperate regions around the world, they have fascinated evolutionary biologists and taxonomists for decades. The genus Festuca contains more than 400 species of varying ploidy levels, whereas the genus Lolium traditionally has been characterized as a much smaller genus, with approximately eight species, all of which are diploid (Terrell, 1966). 


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