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Preventive Control of Pythium Root Dysfunction in Creeping Bentgrass Putting Greens and Sensitivity of Pythium volutum to Fungicides

December 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  12
Pages  1,275 - 1,280

J. P. Kerns, M. D. Soika, and L. P. Tredway, Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695

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Accepted for publication 20 July 2009.

Pythium root dysfunction (PRD), caused by Pythium volutum, has been observed on golf course putting greens established with creeping bentgrass in the southeastern United States since 2002. To evaluate preventative strategies for management of this disease, a 3-year field experiment was conducted in Pinehurst, NC on a ‘G-2’ creeping bentgrass putting green. Fungicide treatments were applied twice in the fall (September and October) and three times in the spring (March, April, and May) in each of the 3 years. Applications of pyraclostrobin provided superior preventative control compared with the other fungicides tested. Azoxystrobin and cyazofamid provided moderate control of PRD in two of three seasons. Experiments were conducted to determine whether the disease suppression provided by pyraclostrobin was due to fungicidal activity or physiological effects on the host. In vitro sensitivity to pyraclostrobin, azoxystrobin, fluoxastrobin, cyazofamid, mefenoxam, propamocarb, and fluopicolide was determined for 11 P. volutum isolates and 1 P. aphanidermatum isolate. Isolates of P. volutum were most sensitive to pyraclostrobin (50% effective concentration [EC50] value = 0.005), cyazofamid (EC50 = 0.004), and fluoxastrobin (EC50= 0.010), followed by azoxystrobin (EC50 = 0.052), and mefenoxam (EC50 = 0.139). P. volutum isolates were not sensitive to fluopicolide or propamocarb. Applications of pyraclostrobin did not increase the foliar growth rate or visual quality of creeping bentgrass in growth-chamber experiments. This work demonstrates that fall and spring applications of pyraclostrobin, azoxystrobin, and cyazofamid suppress the expression of PRD symptoms during summer and that field efficacy is related to the sensitivity of P. volutum to these fungicides.

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society