China develops indigenous turf grass seeds to save water, green urban areas   2010-10-22 18:24:15 FeedbackPrintRSS

HOHHOT, Oct.22 (Xinhua) -- China has developed 30 varieties of drought-resistant grass seeds to help green urban areas.

Yun Jinfeng, chairman of the Chinese Grassland Society (CGS), said researchers in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region used transgenetic technology to select genes from spear grass, morningstar lily grass and two color-lavender herb grass.

Some 95 percent of turf grass seeds in China are imported from America and European countries, with annual import volumes at around 10,000 tonnes.

"Compared with imported grass seed, domestic grass seed is more adaptable to a dry environment. They need only one tenth of the water of imported turf grass," Yun said.

"Chinese cities are building more urban green areas, and turf watering requires much water," said Wang Linhe, a professor at Inner Mongolia Agricultural University involved in grass seed research.

He said the newly-developed grass seeds need watering only three times per year and can easily adapt to arid environments which receive less 500 millimeters of rainfall per year.

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