Festulolium hybrids: results, limits and prospects

Marc Ghesquiere, Michael W. Humphreys, Zbigniew Zwierzykowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Festulolium refers to natural or synthetic intergeneric hybrids between obligate outbreeding species of the Festuca (fescue) and Lolium (ryegrass) genera, species considered frequently as ideal components of agricultural or turfgrass systems. Festulolium provide specialist function and novel alternatives to existing grass cultivars that may lack resilience against abiotic or biotic stresses. So far, 23 amphiploid Festulolium cultivars have been registered onto national lists as well as 18 cultivars resulting from introgression either into tall fescue or into Italian and perennial ryegrass. Although dispersed throughout the world, Festulolium breeding has considerably stimulated research on genetics of the grasses. This has contributed to the development of numerous new technologies among which Genome In-Situ Hybridization has played an essential role for precision breeding, i.e. monitoring the transfer of selected traits from fescues into diploid Lolium sp. In the future, it would seem very likely that breeding amphiploid Festulolium will also benefit from the genomic advances achieved in diploids using introgression. As future Festulolium cultivars are expected to be extremely diverse, this will require that regulations for registration rely on a genome-based classification and suitable official tests for better acknowledgement of agronomic advances by end-users.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Use of Genetic Diversity in Forage and Turf Breeding
EditorsC. Huyghe
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages13
Edition1st Edition
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-481-8706-5
ISBN (Print)978-90-481-8705-8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2010


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