UMN and MTGF Virtual Field Day 2013, Improving Winterhardiness in Perennial Ryegrass

Dr. Lindsey Hoffman
Dr. Lindsey Hoffman

Post-doctoral Research Associate

Turfgrass Breeding

[email protected]



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Did you know?

‘Arctic Green’ perennial ryegrass was released by the University of Minnesota in 2007 and is currently the most winter-hardy commercially available cultivar. 

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Improving Winterhardiness in Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is a cool-season turfgrass species that is widely utilized on home lawns, sports fields, and golf courses due to its rapid establishment and superior traffic tolerance.  Among cool-season turfgrasses, however, perennial ryegrass exhibits significant problems with freezing injury in northern climatic regions.   Currently, research efforts within the University of Minnesota turfgrass breeding program are focused on developing cultivars of perennial ryegrass with improved freezing tolerance.  The process of selecting improved plants, however, involves multiple years of screening in the field under natural conditions as well as screening in a laboratory using controlled freezing tests. Therefore, my research is focused on identifying more efficient screening methods that can be used in conjunction with field and laboratory testing. In particular, I am investigating the use of metabolomics as a tool to decipher between freezing-tolerant and freezing-sensitive perennial ryegrass plants.  Specifically, I will use metabolic-fingerprints to identify and quantify metabolites within the plant with the potential for pinpointing unique metabolites that could be used in screening plant material. Overall, using multiple screening methods will expedite the process of plant selection and development of perennial ryegrass cultivars with improved freezing tolerance and winterhardiness.  

Additional Resources

University of Minnesota, ‘Arctic Green’ fact sheet

Breeding and evaluating perennial ryegrass cultivars for Minnesota