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Licensing agreement positions MSU turfgrass as top 'Choice'
MISSISSIPPI STATE – A high-performance bermudagrass developed at Mississippi State University may soon appear on golf courses and sports fields in the Far East because of a licensing agreement between the university and a prominent company in Japan.
The agreement allows Zoysian, Inc. Japan Branch to sell and market Choice, a bermudagrass developed by MSU researchers Wayne Philley and Jeff Krans of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
“The licensing agreement represents the global impact of MSU turfgrass research, and it validates the efforts we have made in reaching out to the world,” said Chase Kasper, assistant director of the MSU Office of Technology Commercialization.
Zoysian specializes in research, development and distribution of natural turfgrasses. The company has established markets for its products around the world.
“Many Japanese school playgrounds are still bare, and most of them are located next to the buildings, placing the playgrounds in shady areas,” said Fumiaki Miyachi, vice president of the company. “We plan to promote Choice for these playgrounds since this grass seems to have better shade tolerance compared with other grasses we evaluated.”
Choice, one of four bermudagrass cultivars MSU has released commercially, is used on MSU’s Davis-Wade Stadium. The cultivar is also the playing surface at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, Chase Field in Phoenix, Petco Park in San Diego and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
Many clients use Choice because of its dark, blue-green color, soft feel, wear-and-tear resistance and weather tolerance. The cultivar has been installed in fairways and roughs in several golf courses around the nation. It also has become a popular grass for home landscapes and public venues.
“Choice performed well,” Miyachi said. “The rate of lateral spread and color were impressive. As a result of this performance, we are interested in other MSU-developed technologies and perhaps will be working with MSU again in the future.”
Writer: Patti Drapala