Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis
L.) is a highly adapted and important turfgrass species in cool-season climates. It has high and variable polyploidy, small and metacentric chromosomes, and a facultative apomictic breeding system. As a result of the polyploidy and apomixis, identifying hybrids for Mendelian selection, identifying fixed apomictic progeny of desirable hybridizations for cultivar development, or differentiating among cultivars with subtle phenotypic differences is challenging without the assistance of molecular markers. Herein, we show data and review previous research showing the uses and limitations of using molecular markers for hybrid detection, apomixis assessment, and cultivar discrimination. In order to differentiate among different apomictic offtypes, both molecular markers and flow cytometry are necessary. For assessing similarity among progeny of hybridizations, as well as discriminating among cultivars, sets of markers are necessary and cryptic molecular variation must be considered. High throughput genotyping platforms are critical for increased genotyping efficiency.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited