Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


First Advisor

Keenan Amundsen

Second Advisor

Roch Gaussion

Third Advisor

Tim Arkebauer

Date of this Version

Spring 4-23-2020

Document Type



Marshall, J.C. 2020. Buffalograss Diversity Assessment. University of Nebraska, Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agronomy, Under the Supervision of Professor Keenan Amundsen. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2020

Copyright 2020 Jesse Collin Marshall


Buffalograss [Buchloë dactylodes (Nutt.) Engelm. syn. Bouteloua dactyloides (Nutt.) Columbus] is a low input alternative turfgrass for the Great Plains region. Buffalograss is a dioecious stoloniferous warm season grass with wide variation of valuable traits and is well adapted for use in minimal maintenance landscapes. The obligate outcrossing nature of the species and wide variation of potentially valuable traits make buffalograss a prime candidate for cultivar improvement and genetic study. Limited information is available regarding buffalograss genetics. In effort to expand genetic resources around buffalograss, we developed buffalograss derived simple sequence repeat markers from previously available transcriptomes of buffalograss cultivars ‘378’ and ‘Prestige’. Simple sequence repeat markers were developed using the microsatellite identification tool (MiSa). We developed 139 simple sequence repeat markers. A panel of 24 of the markers were confirmed for amplification and validated on a set of seven buffalograss cultivars. A collection of 96 new buffalograss genotypes were collected from throughout the Great Plains region and genetically characterized using the panel of SSR markers. The collection was clustered by similarity using the unweighted pair-group arithmetic means (UGMA) produced by the sequential, agglomerative, hierarchical, and nested clustering methods (SAHN) program in the Numerical Taxonomy (NTSYS) system of software, genetic similarity coefficients ranged from 0.46 to 1.00. The collection was also observed for visual quality, establishment, stolon count, stolon width, genetic color, fall color, and spring green up. Phenotypic differences were observed between genotypes and by geographic location that the genotype was collected.

Advisor: Keenan Amundsen