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Use of Multispectral Radiometry for Assessment of Rhizoctonia Blight in Creeping Bentgrass

May 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  5
Pages  446 - 449

C. Raikes and L. L. Burpee

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Georgia, Georgia Sation, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin 30223-1797

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Accepted for publication 10 February 1998.

The ability to identify diseases early and quantify severity accurately is crucial in plant disease assessment and management. This study was conducted to assess changes in the spectral reflectance of sunlight from plots of creeping bentgrass during infection by Rhizoctonia solani, the cause of Rhizoctonia blight, and to evaluate multispectral radiometry as a tool to quantify Rhizoctonia blight severity. After inoculation of 6-year-old creeping bentgrass turf with R. solani anastomosis group 2-2, reflectance of sunlight from the foliar canopy was measured at light wavelengths of 460 nm (blue) to 810 nm (near infrared [NIR]), at 50-nm intervals. Visual estimates of disease severity and percentage of canopy reflectance were made daily throughout each of three epidemics of Rhizoctonia blight from the onset of visible symptoms until maximum disease severity was reached. In each experiment, linear regression analysis revealed a significant reduction in the percentage of NIR (760 and 810 nm) reflectance as disease severity increased. However, in the majority of analyses, regression models explained <50% of the variability between components. Multispectrum radiometry appears to function best when used to assess differences in disease severity at discrete points in time rather than over an entire epidemic.

Additional keywords: Agrostis stolonifera var palustris , bentgrass spectral reflectance , turfgrass .

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society