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Distribution of Typhula spp. and Typhula ishikariensis Varieties in Wisconsin, Utah, Michigan, and Minnesota

September 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  9
Pages  926 - 933

S. W. Chang , E. Scheef , R. A. B. Abler , S. Thomson , P. Johnson , and G. Jung

First, second, third, and sixth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706; fourth author: Department of Biology, Utah State University, Logan 84322-5306; and fifth author: Department of Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology, Utah State University, Logan 84322-4820

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Accepted for publication 12 February 2006.

Snow molds are psychrophilic fungi that grow under snow cover by taking advantage of carbohydrate-depleted, dormant plants. Typhula snow molds caused by Typhula incarnata, T. phacorrhiza, and T. ishikariensis are the most important winter diseases of perennial grasses and winter cereals in the United States. Colonized turfgrass samples with sclerotia were collected from 135 golf courses in Wisconsin, Utah, Michigan, and Minnesota in spring 2001 and 2002. Species and varieties from a total of 2,864 samples were identified using Typhula spp.-specific polymerase chain reaction markers. All three species were found throughout the states sampled, except T. phacorrhiza, which was not found in Minnesota. T. incarnata was distributed in areas of shorter snow cover duration and higher mean temperature than T. ishikariensis. Canonical correspondence analysis indicated that snow cover days and mean temperature were significantly correlated with frequency of Typhula spp. and T. ishikariensis varieties infecting turfgrasses on golf courses in Wisconsin, and that T. incarnata, T. phacorrhiza, and T. ishikariensis were ecologically distinct based on the 2001 data. However, because these two variables accounted for a relatively small proportion of total variation, other environmental variables also may be important in characterizing the distribution of these pathogens and require further study.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society