Penn State Alum Digs Deep to Help Golf Courses Recover

April 8, 2014 in Alumni

Golfers are partial to warm weather — and so are golf course greens. They have particular difficulty surviving the cold, sleet and ice of Canadian winters. Now, with one of the worst winters in recent history wrapping up, researchers at the University of Guelph are digging deep to help develop golf green grasses that won’t succumb to next winter’s pressures.

Prof. Eric Lyons, Department of Plant Agriculture, and graduate student Bobby Kerr are studying ways to improve stress physiology and management of plant species and turfgrass systems.

“Winter hardiness is a problem with certain grass species because it limits the choices in Canada of what grasses we can use for different applications,” said Lyons. “It’s a major issue.”

Previous studies on winter hardiness by other researchers have focused on breeding and genetic alteration. These studies have been successful but genetic alteration doesn’t help grasses that are already planted.

So Lyons and Kerr are looking at how certain plant growth regulators influence stress tolerance and improve parameters associated with winter hardiness, to help grasses that are already planted.

Read the full story here…