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Plant Growth Regulator Effects on Bacterial Etiolation of Creeping Bentgrass Putting Green Turf Caused by Acidovorax avenae

Roberts, Joseph A., Ritchie, David F., Kerns, James P.
Plant disease 2016 v.100 no.3 pp. 577-582
Acidovorax avenae, Agrostis stolonifera, bacteria, etiolation, field experimentation, golf courses, lawns and turf, leaves, mechanism of action, mowing, paclobutrazol, phytotoxicity, plant hormones, stems, turf grasses
Bacterial etiolation, caused by Acidovorax avenae, is a widespread problem in creeping bentgrass putting green turf. The symptoms normally appear as abnormally elongated turfgrass stems and leaves. Observations at multiple field sites suggest the involvement of plant growth regulators (i.e., GA-biosynthesis inhibitors) commonly applied to turf, alluding to a phytohormone imbalance caused by the bacterium. A 2-year field study examined the effects of trinexapac-ethyl, flurprimidol, and paclobutrazol on bacterial etiolation severity caused by A. avenae. Trinexapac-ethyl applied at 0.05 kg a.i. ha⁻¹ every 7 days and 0.10 kg ha⁻¹ every 14 days increased etiolation compared with all other treatments in both years. Flurprimidol and paclobutrazol were not different from the control but high-rate applications caused phytotoxicity that lowered turf quality early in 2014. When the etiolated turfgrass was removed with mowing, turfgrass treated with trinexapac-ethyl exhibited the highest turfgrass quality on most rating dates. Results from this work illustrate that using plant growth regulator materials with different modes of action is a solution to managing creeping bentgrass growth while limiting the potential for bacterial etiolation outbreaks.