A wide array of phenotypic and genotypic variation is present in tall fescue. Plant breeders utilize this variation to develop cultivars with a number of desirable traits. This chapter focuses on the genetics of tall fescue and the breeding procedures available to develop new genotype combinations from which plant breeders can select plants with desirable traits. These are characteristics that affect plant structure, physiology, tolerance or resistance to pests and stresses, composition and digestibility, utilization by herbivores, seed production, and reproduction. Heritability estimates of traits are presented. An exhaustive listing of forage and turfgrass cultivars is presented, accompanied by the name of the releasing agency and the date of release for each cultivar. The impact of the fungal endophyte on breeding and past and future trends in tall fescue cultivar development are discussed.


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