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Suppression of Dollar Spot by Hypovirulent Isolates of Sclerotinia homoeocarpa

August 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  8
Pages  788 - 794

Ting Zhou and Greg J. Boland

First author: Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Centre, 4902 Victoria Avenue N., Vineland Station, Ontario, L0R 2E0, Canada; and second author: Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada

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Accepted for publication 30 April 1998.

Selected hypovirulent isolates of Sclerotinia homoeocarpa were evaluated for efficacy in suppressing dollar spot of turfgrass under growth room and field conditions. Under growth room conditions, hypovirulent isolates Sh12B, Sh09B, or Sh08D of S. homoeocarpa caused 3.4 to 30.4% diseased turf in comparison to virulent isolates Sh48B and Sh14D, which caused 80.2 to 90.2% disease. In treatments that received both virulent and hypovirulent isolates, only hypovirulent isolate Sh12B significantly reduced disease as compared with the control with virulent isolates alone. In a field experiment in 1993 on swards of creeping bentgrass artificially inoculated with a virulent isolate of the pathogen, all treatments containing hypovirulent isolate Sh12B applied as a mycelial suspension, granular mix, or alginate pellets developed significantly less disease (6.3 to 20.8% diseased turf) compared with their respective formulation controls (23.8 to 31.2%). Suppression of dollar spot by treatment with mycelial suspensions of isolate Sh12B was evident up to 45 days postinoculation, and disease suppression was still significant 1 year after application when compared with the water control. Applications of hypovirulent isolate Sh09B did not reduce dollar spot in any treatments. Significant suppression of dollar spot by isolate Sh12B was also observed in the experiment conducted in 1994. In addition, suppression of dollar spot by hypovirulent isolate Sh12B was evaluated on swards with naturally occurring inoculum during 1994. Treatments with a mycelial suspension and alginate pellets of hypovirulent isolate Sh12B significantly reduced dollar spot compared with their respective formulation controls. With few exceptions, there was no statistical difference between treatments with hypovirulent isolate Sh12B and the fungicide chlorothalonil (Daconil 2787). Multiple applications of the hypovirulent isolate did not result in greater suppression of dollar spot as compared with a single application. The results indicate that hypovirulence has potential as an effective strategy for the management of dollar spot.

Additional keywords: dsRNA , turfgrass disease .

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society