Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Summer dormancy in temperate perennial grasses - the case of tall fescue

Summer dormancy in temperate perennial grasses - the case of tall fescue

Date :  Thursday, 8 February 2007
Time :  3.30pm - 4.15pm
Venue : Seminar Room, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute
Presenter : Mr Mark Norton, Research Agronomist, CSIRO Plant Industry

The search for grasses with greater tolerance to long, severe summer droughts and high temperatures has resulted in a re-awakening of interest in the summer dormancy trait and lead to the recent release of several cultivars. This has resulted in renewed questioning about the nature of summer dormancy particularly as the definition of the trait is unclear. The research presented here aimed to strengthen understanding of summer dormancy in perennial pasture grasses, using the example of tall fescue. This was done by studying two cultivars contrasting in the expression of the trait in a range of field trials which studied the effects of different levels of summer water supply and plant maturity and identified key physiological mechanisms whereby summer dormancy enhances
plant survival.

Mark Norton has 24 years experience as a research agronomist having worked in Pakistan, Qld, Northern Territory, NSW and France. The above work was part of Mark's recently submitted PhD research which was undertaken as a collaborative project between the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the University of Queensland and the French National Agronomic Research Institute (INRA) with financial support from MLA Ltd.

Contact: Prof Deirdre Lemerle, Email: , Maree Crowley, Email :

Phone: 02 6938 1667, 02 6938 1681