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Minting Zeng

Minting Zeng
Identifying Drought Resistant Cool-Season Turfgrass for Reduced Irrigation Environments
Program Year: 
Environmental Science
Michelle DaCosta

My name is Minting Zeng. I am a junior majoring in Environmental Science. I am working in Professor DaCosta’s lab this summer as a CAFE scholar. This summer, I worked on a project to identify the drought resistance of the cool-season turfgrass for a reduced irrigation environment. We chose 2 cool-season turfgrass: Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. We have 5 groups for each species, 3 replicates in each group, so we have 15 cultivars for each species. For this project, we plant the cultivar under the shelter with a calm environment. All of the cultivars are taken care of perfectly before we start the first dry down on June 21st, 2021. To collect data, we cut out a small portion of the grass sample from each plot every week to determine the relative water content and electrolyte leakage of the sample that we collected. In addition, we also take fluorescence measurements-which represents the maximum potential quantum efficiency of the photosystem II-of the cultivars to see if the grasses are functioning normally. The VTQ (Visual Turfgrass Quality) is being rated each week, based on a 1-9 scale (with 1 representing the lowest canopy color, uniformity, and density, and 9 representing the highest visual quality). At the end, we will collect all the data we gathered over the summer and put the data in a line graph to do the comparison between Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass.