Selection of genetically diverse sea oats lines with improved performance for coastal restoration in the northern Gulf of Mexico

Sarah E. Bertrand-Garcia, Carrie A. Knott, Niranjan Baisakh, Prasanta K. Subudhi, Stephen A. Harrison, Michael D. Materne, Herry Utomo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Numerous sea oats (Uniola paniculata L.) plants are transplanted to Northern Gulf of Mexico beaches each year to reduce coastal erosion. To adapt to environmental changes and effectively reduce coastal erosion, genetically diverse sea oats plants with demonstrated plant performance must be used. The objectives of this study were to: (i) identify improved sea oats lines; and (ii) determine the genetic diversity of improved sea oats lines. From 2003 to 2005, 2,000 sea oats lines were evaluated in unreplicated field trials at natural beach sites. In 2005, 75 sea oats lines were selected based upon phenotypic performance. The 75 selected lines and 3 plants of 'Caminada', the only commercially available sea oats line, were evaluated in replicated field trials in 2008 and 2010. In 2008, UP01LA-15 K-HB-3092, UP01LA-16S-GP-3138, UP01LA-31-GP-3103, UP01LA-33-GP-1303, and UP01NC-04-HB-3374 had higher (p <0.05) stem densities than Caminada. In 2010, variation was not detected for any trait measured; lack of significant differences was most likely due to plant stress caused by storm surge one week after transplant. Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism detected 534 loci for the 75 selected lines and 3 Caminada plants. One hundred eighty one loci were polymorphic; the average polymorphism rate was 34% (range = 25-43%). Polymorphic information content values ranged from 0.15 to 0.41 and averaged 0.29 while Jaccard similarity coefficients ranged from 0.8243 to 0.9794. These findings demonstrate the application of plant breeding techniques to develop genetically different sea oats lines with improved performance for coastal restoration projects in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments Financial support for this research was provided by USDA-NIFA, Louisiana State University College of Agriculture Millard Perkins Undergraduate Research Grant, Louisiana Sea Grant College Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and the Louisiana State University Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Research Grant. The authors thank the USDA-NRCS and North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service for sea oats seeds and the Harrison County Sand Beach Authority for beach sites to conduct the research. This manuscript is approved for publication by the Director of Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station as manuscript number 2011-306-6501.


  • Coastal restoration
  • Genetic diversity
  • Plant breeding
  • Sea oats
  • Uniola paniculata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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