Research Turfgrass Breeding
Contact Dr. Ambika Chandra at ambika.chandra@ag.TAMU.edu for information about The Dallas Center's turfgrass breeding program.
The Dallas Center's turfgrass breeding program works alongside a range of partners across the U.S. to produce new, drought tolerant, resource-efficient turfgrass varieties for sustainable urban living across Texas and the nation at large. Our urban focus is guided by U.S. Census Bureau data showing about 81% of the total U.S. population resides in urban and sub-urban areas, where turfgrass covers an estimated 40% to 50% of the total land surface.
Established in 1980, our mature, reputable turfgrass breeding program maintains a proven track record of developing environmentally friendly and sustainable turfgrasses. Our efforts are trained strongly on our status as a leading provider of stress tolerant, resource-efficient turfgrasses, serving a full scope of industry sectors, namely lawns, sports and golf.
Our breeding program, as such, works toward preserving strong offerings of commercialized intellectual property in new turfgrass varieties. To date, we hold eight plant patents with an additional two patents pending alongside eight currently held PVPs (Plant Variety Protections.)
We are able to continue our breeding efforts by maintaining a comprehensive, proprietary collection of large and genetically diverse germplasm: zoysiagrass, creeping bentgrass, Texas bluegrass. Our ability to manipulate germplasm and breeding populations include:
- Wide hybridization
- Quantitative improvement
- Embryo recuse
- Tissue culture
- Genetic transformation
Our turfgrass research and development efforts are supported by long-standing relationships with industry partners. Close academic collaborations with public and private sectors create opportunities for joint ownership of new varieties. These attributes, in conjunction with the unparalleled expertise of the Dallas turfgrass breeding team, allow us to bring true innovation to sustainable urban living.
Aggie Turf - This is the overarching turfgrass research and extension program of the Texas A&M University System, which houses the Dallas Center's turfgrass breeding program.
Turfgrass Producers of Texas (TPT) - Use this comprehensive database to find any turfgrass variety bred in conjunction with the Dallas Center's breeding program. This TPT list is categorized by growers and the turfgrass varieties they produce.
Turfgrass Information File (TGIF) database - This bibliographic computer database provides access to all published materials reporting on aspects of turfgrass and turfgrass maintenance.
AgriLife Soil Testing - This AgriLife Extension site provides all the information for having your soil tested and receiving a detailed soil profile - a critical component in determining how to amend your soil for optimal plant and turfgrass success.
Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab - This Texas A&M AgriLife Extension site is dedicated to diagnosing plant disease. It includes disease information and resources for submitting samples for testing.
Varieties Bred Here
The turfgrass breeding program at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center of Dallas develops new varieties through an array of public and private partnership collaborations. New turfgrasses undergo comprehensive research in several climatic zones across the United States. Only the very best are registered for industry licensing.
TamStar St. Augustinegrass
TamStar is the first Interploid Hybrid Turf variety. It offers superior drought resistance, deep rooting potential and tolerance to gray leaf spot disease.
KSUZ 0802 (commercial name forthcoming) is a cold hardy hybrid zoysiagrass (Z. japonica x Z. matrella) co-developed by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Kansas State University. It features finer leaf texture and superior density to ‘Meyer’. Its superior turfgrass quality makes KSUZ 0802 the ideal choice for transition zone golf course fairways and tees across the U.S.
Royal is a fine-texture zoysiagrass with excellent salt and shade tolerance. It is ideal for golf fairways, tee boxes, and sports field.
Zorro Zoysiagrass is a strong variety for rust resistance, large patch tolerance and good color retention in the fall.
Cavalier is a finer-textured zoysiagrass that is cold hardy, salt tolerant and resistant to tropical sod web worm, fall army worm, and the tawny mole cricket.
This zoysiagrass is superbly cold hardy compared with other transition zone adapted varieties. It features rapid recovery rates following damage, high shoot density, and low seedhead numbers.
This zoysiagrass is a medium-coarse-texture variety with rapid establishment, heat tolerance, and strong color retention in the fall.
Diamond Zoysiagrass is a very fine-texture variety that is tolerant to a range of pests and conditions in addition to greening up early in spring compared with other zoysia varieties.
This medium-coarse-texture zoysiagrass is heat tolerant, cold tolerant, and retains its color well in fall.