Golf Course Management

MAY 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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82 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 05.14 Tar spot on seashore paspalum in Georgia Tar spot has been identifed for the frst time on seashore paspalum turfgrass at the University of Georgia. Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vagina- tum) is a warm-season grass native to tropical and subtropical regions of North and South America. In the United States, it is found in the coastal regions of Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. With the exception of one commercially available seeded cultivar, seashore paspalum propagates via rhizomes and stolons. Seashore paspalum has been growing in popularity for use on golf course tees, fairways and greens because of its high tolerance to saline soils and water (3,8). Symptoms on plant tissue Tar spot was frst observed on seashore paspalum turfgrass plants in late 2010 at a re - search greenhouse on the campus of the Uni- versity of Georgia in Griffn, Ga. Symptoms of the disease included what were later deter - mined to be tar spot lesions, which were black to dark brown with yellow to light brown tis - sue surrounding the spot (Figure 1). The spots were small and compact, and most were cir - cular to slightly oval. Some spots coalesced and formed a short delineated strip (Figure 2). Spots were located mainly on the tops of the leaves, with some discoloration on the back of the leaves. However, tar spots did not reach the back tissue of the leaves. These observa - tions are consistent with tar spot disease ob- served in other turfgrasses, and in other crops, where lesions are dark, small, compacted and located on the upper part of the leaves (Figures 1,2) (1,2,4-7,9-11). Alfredo Martinez-Espinoza, Ph.D. Omar Martinez-Uribe Dae Kim Figure 1. Tar spot lesions, which were black to dark brown with yellow to light brown tissue surrounding the spots, were discovered on seashore paspalum plants in a greenhouse at the University of Georgia in Griffn, Ga. Photos by Alfredo Martinez 076-087_May14_TechwellCuttingEdge.indd 82 4/16/14 2:53 PM

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