Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Pedersen, J.F. and Sieper, D.A., 1993. Genetic manipulation of tall fescue. Agric. Ecosystems Environ., 44: 187-193.


U.S. Government Work


Genetic manipulation of tall fescue (Festuca arnndinacea Schreb.) has not been altered by the discovery of the Acremonium coenophialum (Morgan-Jones and Gams) / grass interaction. However, tall fescue breeding programs have been affected greatly. The basic methods for genetically manipulating the grass have remained static. Tall fescue is an obligate out-crossing species, and most improvements are, therefore, captured in the form of an improved population developed through some form of mass or recurrent selection. What has changed is the breeder's ability to recognize genetic differences in the grass because of the confounding effect of A. coenophialum on plant phenotype. It is, therefore, critical that breeders recognize A. coenophialum status in their plants prior to selection. The other major change in tall fescue breeding since the discovery of the A. coenophialum/grass interaction is a tremendous increase in breeding activity.