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First Report of Brown Ring Patch Caused by Waitea circinata var. circinata on Poa trivialis in Florida

Flor, N., Harmon, P., Datnoff, L., Raid, R., Nagata, R.
Plant disease 2008 v.92 no.11 pp. 1586
Poa trivialis, turf grasses, lawns and turf, cool season grasses, Rhizoctonia, plant pathogenic fungi, fungal diseases of plants, new geographic records, signs and symptoms (plants), disease outbreaks, Cynodon dactylon, pathogen identification, disease diagnosis, ribosomal DNA, nucleotide sequences, microbial genetics, sequence analysis, pathogenicity, mortality, Florida
Brown ring patch is a newly described disease of cool-season turfgrass first reported in Japan on creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris) (2) and later reported in California on annual bluegrass (Poa annua) (1). The disease is characterized by either patches or rings of discolored to blighted turfgrass that can range from a few centimeters to a meter in diameter. Affected turfgrass plants turn chlorotic and can be blighted from the crown to the leaf tips. Blight symptoms have been associated with fluffy white-to-cream aerial mycelium after extended incubation of the sample. Symptoms including patches of blighted turfgrass approximately 10 cm in diameter were observed on roughstalk bluegrass (Poa trivialis) that had been overseeded onto a dormant 'Tifdwarf' bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon) putting green in Palatka, FL. A sample was submitted by the superintendent in June 2005 because symptoms were confused with dollar spot and a fungicide resistance issue was suspected. The sample produced abundant aerial mycelium after incubation. The pathogen was isolated on potato dextrose agar amended with rifampicin (100 ppm) and streptomycin (100 ppm) from Poa plants surface disinfested with 70% ethanol for 30 s. Colony and sclerotia morphology were consistent with Waitea circinata var. circinata as previously described (1,2). The teleomorph W. circinata var. circinata was not observed on plant material or culture plates. Amplified fragments of rDNA including internal transcribed spacers from the isolate were sequenced bidirectionally from four bacterial clones. The consensus sequences (GenBank Accession Nos. FJ029103, FJ029104, FJ029105, and FJ029106) matched with 99% homology (99% sequence overlap) isolate TRGC1.1 of W. circinata var. circinata described by Wong, NCBI Accession No. DQ900586 (1). Pots of 'Cypress' roughstalk bluegrass that were 1 week postemergence were inoculated with the pathogen using 10 infested wheat grains. Plants were incubated at 25°C in a sealed plastic bag with a moist paper towel in the bottom. Hyphae grew from the grains and colonized the grass. Individual plants began to turn chlorotic within 3 days and greater than 90% of the turf in pots was dead after 1 week. The fungus was reisolated from affected plants. Control pots were inoculated with uninfested wheat grains and showed no disease symptoms after 1 week. Inoculations were repeated twice more with the same results. To our knowledge, this is the first report of brown ring patch on P. trivialis in Florida.