Tall fescue [Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.] is an outcrossing polyploid grass widely used for forage and turf. A generally strong genetic barrier exists between the two major breeding pools of tall fescue (i.e., continental and Mediterranean). Since the early 1980s, breeders have focused on developing forage cultivars that contain no fungal endophyte [Neotyphodium coenophialum (Morgan-Jones and Gams) Glenn, Bacon, and Hanlin] or, more recently, that contain nontoxic endophytes in novel associations. A large range in genetic variability for many important traits exists in tall fescue. Enhanced persistence and stress tolerance are traits often targeted for improvement in both forage and turf types. Breeders generally capitalize on additive genetic variation by using procedures such as recurrent selection to develop tall fescue cultivars, of which there are now hundreds available. Tall fescue breeding appears to be poised to enter a new era as molecular technologies, such as molecular markers, genomics, and transgenics, are being developed, and adapted to tall fescue.

Keywords: tall fescue, cultivars, breeding, forage, turf, endophyte, genomics, transgenics.

Abbreviations: AOSCA, Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies; 13C , carbon-13 stable isotope; E-, endophyte free, free of Neotyphodium; E+, infected by wild Neotyphodium endophyte; IVDMD, in vitro dry matter digestibility; OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; VNS, Variety Not Stated.


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Table of Contents

Tall Fescue Monograph

See Related Information In:

Chapter 2: Chromosome Number: The Implications of Cytogenetics

Chapter 5: Cultivars

Chapter 10: Effect of Endophyte Strains

Chapter 11: Introduction

Chapter 15: Where Is the Endophyte Found?

Chapter 16: Replacement of Wild Endophyte with Novel Endophyte

Chapter 20: Novel Endophytes

Chapter 21: Introduction

Chapter 22: Introduction

Chapter 23: Introduction