Species belonging to the Festuca–Lolium complex are important forage and turf species and as such, have been studied intensively. However, their out-crossing nature and limited availability of molecular markers make genetic studies difficult. Here, we report on saturation of F. pratensis andL. multiflorum genetic maps using Diversity Array Technology (DArT) markers and the DArTFest array.
Complementary attributes of Festuca and Lolium grasses can be combined in hybrid cultivars called Festuloliums, which are becoming increasingly popular fodder crops and amenity plants. Genomic constitution of commercially available Festuloliums was reported to vary from almost equal representation of parental genomes to apparent lack of one of them based on molecular cytogenetic analyses and screening with a small set of DNA markers, both approaches with limited resolution.
Grasses are among the most important and widely cultivated plants on Earth. They provide high quality fodder for livestock, are used for turf and amenity purposes, and play a fundamental role in environment protection. Among cultivated grasses, species within the Festuca-Lolium complex predominate, especially in temperate regions. To facilitate high-throughput genome profiling and genetic mapping within the complex, we have developed a Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) array for five grass species: F. pratensis, F. arundinacea, F. glaucescens, L. perenne and L. multiflorum.