Beijing: In a bid to help green urban areas, China has developed 30 varieties of drought-resistant grass seeds that need watering only thrice a year.
Researchers in north China`s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region used transgenetic technology to select genes from spear grass, morningstar lily grass and two colour-lavender herb grass, Yun Jinfeng, Chairman of the Chinese Grassland Society
Some 95 per cent 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 was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
"Chinese cities are building more urban green areas, and turf watering requires much water," Wang Linhe, Professor at Inner Mongolia Agricultural University involved in grass seed research said.
He said the newly-developed grass seeds need watering only three times per year and can easily adapt to arid environments which receive less than 500 millimetres of rainfall per year.