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Registration of 'Tejas 1' Texas bluegrass.

'Tejas 1' Texas bluegrass (Poa arachnifera Tort.) (Reg. no. CV-87, PI 636329) was developed by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES) and released in 2004. Texas bluegrass is a rhizomatous, dioecious, perennial cool-season grass native to southern Kansas, Oklahoma, western Arkansas, and north central Texas. In Texas, this grass occurs most often in the Blackland Prairies, Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, and north central Prairies (Gould, 1975). Tejas 1 was tested as Syn-1 Texas bluegrass.

Tejas 1 was developed as a synthetic cultivar using progeny from a nursery established in 1988 with 38 different ecotypes, collected from an area 395 km (N to S) by 320 km (E to W) in north central Texas. The space plant nursery was located at the Texas A&M University Research & Extension Center, Dallas, TX. It consisted of four replications with 10 observations per replication. Twenty-five plants were selected for forage potential in 1989 and were crossed in an isolation block with three replications per plant to form Tejas 1 Texas bluegrass. These 25 plants were selected from nine different ecotypes, and 11 of these were selected from one ecotype. Seed from this isolation block was used to establish a Breeder seed block of 0.135 ha, which furnished seed for additional testing. This seed field suffered loss of stand in 1998 due to poor drainage. Another 0.12-ha Breeder seed field with better drainage and supplemental irrigation was established during 1999 using remnant seed from the original isolation block.

Tejas 1 Texas bluegrass is a tufted dioecious perennial with long slender rhizomes. In plots on Houston Black clay at Dallas, spread after 1 yr of growth averages 86 cm, with variation from 24 to 129 cm. Culms are stiffly erect with an average height at maturity of 69 cm, with a range of 45 to 91 cm. Ligules are short pointed membranes averaging 0.8 mm in length. Leaf blades average 5 mm wide, and the second leaf below the flag leaf averages 12 cm in length but will vary from 6.5 to 14 cm. Panicles are contracted, narrow, and mostly 10 to 15 cm long, with the lower branches 4 to 7 cm long. Spikelets have 6 to 10 florets. The female spikelets are densely woolly pubescent with long kinky hairs attached at the base of the lemmas or on the rachilla joints immediately below the lemmas. The male spikelets are not conspicuously hairy but will have a few kinky hairs. Chromosome number is reported to be 2n = 84 (Gould, 1975), but J. C. Read observed only 2n = 56 based on root tip cells of five different plants (1995, unpublished data).

Tejas 1 and a second Texas bluegrass experimental synthetic designated as Syn-2 were compared with PI 100 tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) at Dallas, Stephenville, Overton, and Temple, TX, with yearly average rainfall of 93, 76, 114, and 85 cm, respectively (Read et al., 1997). Tejas 1 had higher dry matter production than Syn-2 each year at all locations. This difference was not significant but was consistent at all locations and years, except for the first year at Dallas when Tejas 1 had significantly higher production. Production was variable due to location and year, with the highest yield of 11 374 kg [ha.sup.-1] during the 1991 and 1992 harvest seasons at Overton, and the lowest of 1248 kg [ha.sup.-1] at Stephenville. At all locations, mean yields for Tejas 1 were greater than 4000 kg [ha.sup.-1]. The yield for Tejas 1 was comparable with small grain forage yields for most years. The stands of PI 100 tall rescue had been eliminated after 1 yr at Stephenville, and at least 50% had died at the other locations by 1993. By 1994, all PI 100 plots, except at the Dallas location, were eliminated from the test due to loss of stand from its lack of drought and heat tolerance. Throughout the test, excellent stands were maintained by Texas bluegrass at the Dallas and Temple locations for six years. Tejas 1 Texas bluegrass produced adequate dry matter production and sustainable stands being maintained after several years at each test site (Read et al., 1997).

A trial using grazing by cattle as the defoliation method was conducted by the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation near Burneyville, OK. Nineteen cool-season perennial grasses including Tejas 1 and Syn-3 (an advanced synthetic line) Texas bluegrasses were evaluated for persistence. Stand counts for Tejas 1 and Syn-3 exceeded 80% in spring 1999, indicating good establishment of plots. From 2000 to 2002, both Tejas 1 and Syn-3 had more than 60% stand, which was significantly greater (P < 0.05) than PDF E+, an experimental endophyte-infected tall rescue. PDF E+ had the second highest ranking stand counts among all entries in the trial. Stand counts for Tejas 1 and Syn-3 did not differ within any year of the trial. Both Texas bluegrass entries exhibited superior persistence and outperformed crested wheatgrass [Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn.], Indian ricegrass [Achnatherum hymenoides (Roem. & Schult.) Barkworth], 'Matua' prairiegrass (Bromus catharticus Vahl var. catharticus), pubescent wheatgrass (Elytrigia intermedia subsp, intermedia), Russian wildrye [Psathyrostachys juncea (Fisch.) Nevski], several tall fescue grasses, tall wheatgrass [Elytrigia elongata (Host) Nevski], and smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis subsp, inermis) in this 4-yr trial.

Turf quality data were collected on nine different dates for six different Texas bluegrass x Kentucky bluegrass (P. pratensis L.) hybrids and Tejas 1 and Syn-2 Texas bluegrass experimental lines on plots maintained as turf at Dallas. Turf quality for Tejas 1 was generally lower but not significantly different from 'Reveille' hybrid bluegrass on four dates, and it was superior on one date. These data indicate that Tejas 1 would serve well as a turfgrass under lower management requirements such as golf course roughs, highway rights-of-way, and some lawn settings.

Tejas 1 is recommended for winter grazing and for low management turfgrass on well drained, deep, fertile soils in USDA Plant Hardness Zones 6b to 8a. Breeder seed will be maintained by TAES at the Texas A&M University System Research and Extension Center at Dallas, TX. The Foundation Seed Service of TAES will produce the Foundation seed. Tejas 1 can be sold by cultivar name only as a class of Certified seed. U.S. Plant Variety Protection for Tejas 1 is pending (Application No. 200500040).


Gould, F.W. 1975. The grasses of Texas. Texas A&M Univ. Press, College Station.

Read, J.C., M.A. Sanderson, G.W. Evers, M.A. Hussey, P.W. Voigt, and J.A. Reinert. 1997. Forage production potential of Poa arachnifera Torr. Proc. Int. Grassl. Congr., XVIII 1997:1-3-1-4.


J.C. Read and J.A. Reinert, Texas Agric. Exp. Stn., 17360 Coit Rd., Dallas, TX 75252; G.A. Evers, Texas Agric. Exp. Stn., P.O. Box 200, Overton, TX 75684; W.R. Ocumpaugh, Texas Agric. Exp. Stn., 3507 Hwy 59E, Beeville, TX 78102; M.A. Sanderson, USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit, 3702, Curtin Road University Park, PA, 16802-3702; A.A. Hopkins, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Pkwy., Ardmore, OK 73401. Registration by CSSA. Accepted 31 Mar. 2005. * Corresponding author (

doi:10.2135/cropsci2004.0595 Published in Crop Sci. 45:2124-2125 (2005).
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Author:Read, J.C.; Reinert, J.A.; Evers, G.W.; Ocumpaugh, W.R.; Sanderson, M.A.; Hopkins, A.A.
Publication:Crop Science
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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