Improving Turfgrass Breeding


Research by MSI PI Donald Wyse (professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics) is featured on the website of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). Professor Wyse has worked for many years with organizations involved with the northern Minnesota grass seed industry. He initially did research to eliminate quackgrass, an invasive weed that crowds out other plants. To be sold for sowing, grass seed must be certified quackgrass-free. This research eventually resulted in the U of M’s perennial ryegrass breeding program.

The story can be read on the CFANS website: Seed Money. Other MSI PIs are also featured in the story: Eric Watkins (professor, Horticultural Science) and Nancy Jo Ehlke (professor, Agronomy and Plant Genetics).

Professor Wyse uses MSI for genetics research into the invasive species Palmer amaranth; research by the Wyse group was featured on the MSI website in October 2019 (Domesticating Pennycress). Professor Watkins uses MSI for genomics and genetics research into turfgrass species and the use of fungicides. Professor Ehlke is using resources at MSI for RNA sequencing to study hairy vetch as a cold-tolerant winter-annual legume.