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Herbicide Effects on Sugarcane Growth, Pythium Root Rot, and Pythium arrhenomanes

June 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  6
Pages  530 - 535

N. Dissanayake , J. W. Hoy , and J. L. Griffin

Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge 70803

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Accepted for publication 3 March 1998.

Six herbicides were evaluated for their effects on Pythium root rot and growth of sugarcane in greenhouse experiments and on in vitro mycelial growth rate of Pythium arrhenomanes. Pendimethalin and atrazine were most inhibitory to mycelial growth, but neither reduced root rot severity. Asulam, atrazine, and metribuzin were not phytotoxic to sugarcane and did not affect root rot symptom severity in clay loam or silt loam field soils. Atrazine and metribuzin increased shoot number, and atrazine increased total shoot weight for treated plants in silt loam soil. Glyphosate, pendimethalin, and terbacil were phytotoxic to sugarcane. These herbicides increased root rot severity, but the extent to which growth reductions resulted from increased disease severity or from direct herbicide injury was not clear. Adverse effects on plant growth and root rot severity were greater in clay loam than in silt loam soil. The results suggest that sugarcane injury from some herbicides is compounded by increased severity of root rot.

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society