US National Arboretum


Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit

Dr. Scott E. Warnke

Research Geneticist
{Beltsville, MD}

Enhancement of Turfgrass Germplasm For Reduced Input Sustainability

Conducts research on the genetics of plants used as turfgrasses.  Identifies and develops enhanced germplasm from wild species that express improved biotic and abiotic stress resistance.  Develops improved turfgrasses through the use of new technologies such as molecular markers and genomics.

Research in the last three years included: 1) the generation of AFLP markers in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifiera) to evaluate chromosome pairing behavior; 2) Expressed Sequence Tag sequencing of creeping and colonial bentgrass cDNA libraries and the isolation of EST SSR markers for genetic map development and genetic diversity evaluation;  3) The evaluation of transposable elements in creeping and colonial bentgrass for genetic mapping and species separation;  4) Development of a new native grass Danthonia spicata for use as a turfgrass.

Continue to investigate the genome relationships of the common cool-season turfgrass species in the U.S.  Develop new creeping bentgrass populations with improved dollar spot resistance through the use of marker-assisted selection.  Identify and develop new grass species for use as low maintenance turfgrass.


Amundsen, K., Brown, R., Jung, G., and Warnke, S. 2012.  Evaluation of population structure within diploid Agrostis germplasm based on miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements.  Crop Science, In Press.

Amundsen, K.L., and Warnke, S.E. 2011.  Species relationships in the genus Agrostis based on flow cytometry and MITE-display molecular markers. Crop Sci. 51:1224-1231.

Amundsen, K.L., Rotter, D., Jung, G., Belanger, F., and Warnke, S.E. 2011.  Miniature inverted-repeat transposable element identification and genetic marker development in Agrostis.  Crop Sci. 51:854-861.

Rotter, D, Amundsen, K., Bonos, S., Meyer, W., Warnke, S., and Belanger, F. 2009. Molecular genetic linkage map for allotetraploid colonial bentgrass.  Crop Sci. 49:1609-1619.

Jo, Y., Barker, R., Pfender, W., Warnke, S., Sim, S.C., and Jung, G. 2008.  Comparative analysis of multiple disease resistance in ryegrass and cereal crops.  Theor. Appl. Genet. 117:531-543.

Rotter, D., Bharti, A.K., Huaijun, M.L., Luo, C., Bonos, S.A., Bughrara, S., Jung, G., Messing, J., Meyer, W.A., Rudd, S., Warnke, S.E., and Belanger, F.C. 2007.  Analysis of EST sequences suggests recent origin of allotetraploid colonial and creeping bentgrasses. Mol. Genet. Genomics 278:197-209.

Rotter, D., Warnke, S.E., and Belanger, F.C. 2007.  Dideoxy polymorphism scanning, a gene-based method for marker development or genetic linkage mapping.  Mol. Breeding 19:267-274.

Chakraborty, N., Curley, J., Warnke, S.E., Casler, M.D., and Jung, G. 2006. Mapping QTL for dollar spot resistance in creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.).  Theo. Appl. Genet. 113:1421-1435.

Brown R.N., Barker R.E., Warnke S.E., Brilman L.A., Mian Rouf M.A., Jung G., and Sim S.  2005.   QTL Analysis for Morphological Traits Useful in Distinguishing Annual Ryegrass and Turf-type Perennial Ryegrass.  International Turfgrass Society Research Journal. 10:515-524.

Barker R.E., Warnke S.E., and Brown R.N.  2005   Genetic Variability Among Intermediate Ryegrass Seed Lots and Cultivars Detected by RAPD.  Analysis.International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 10:490-494.

Chakraborty, N, Bae, J, Warnke, S, Chang, T and Jung, G.  2005.  Linkage map construction in allotetraploid creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.)  Theor. Appl. Genet. 111:795-803.

Curley, J., Sim, S.C., Warnke, S.E., Leong, S.A., Barker, R.E., Jung, G.  2005.  Genetic variability and QTL mapping of resistance to gray leaf spot in ryegrass.  Theor Appl. Genet.  111:1107-1117.

Sim S., Chang T., Curley J., Warnke S.E., Barker R.E., Jung G.  2005   RFLP Marker Based Analysis of Large-Scale Chromosomal Rearrangements Differentiating the Lolium Genome From Other Poaceae Species Theor Appl Genet. 110:1011-1019.

Warnke, S.E., R.E. Barker, Geunhwa Jung, Sung-Chur Sim, M.A. Rouf Mian, M.C. Saha, L.A. Brilman, M.P. Dupal, J.W. Forster.  2004.  Genetic linkage mapping of an annual X perennial ryegrass population. Theor Appl. Genet. 109:294-304

Warnke S.E.  2003. Creeping bentgrass. p.175-185 In M.D. Casler and R.R. Duncan (ed.) Turfgrass Biology, Genetics, and Breeding.  John Wiley & Sons, Inc.  Hoboken, New Jersey. USA.

Warnke S.E., R.E. Barker, L.A. Brilman, W.C. Young III, and R.L. Cook.  2002.   Inheritance of superoxide dismutase (Sod-1) in a perennial X annual ryegrass cross and its allelic distribution among cultivars.  Theor Appl Genet 105:1146-1150.

Barker, R.E., J.A. Kilgore, R.L. Cook, A.E. Garay, and S.E. Warnke.  2001.   Use of flow cytometry to determine ploidy level of ryegrass.  Seed Sci. & Technol., 29:493-502.

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