Golf Course Management

JUL 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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80 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 07.14 Improving drought performance of creeping bentgrass Sequential application of a plant growth regulator and glycine betaine, an osmoregulant, could help manage cool-season turf in prolonged periods of drought stress. Bingru Huang, Ph.D. Patrick Burgess Drought-induced turf decline is an increas - ing concern for turfgrass managers because of the declining availability of fresh water for ir - rigation and the increased frequency of nat- ural drought events. Two key strategies for maintaining high-quality turf stands with a limited water supply are reducing water loss from the turf canopy or lowering water con - sumption rates and facilitating water reten- tion within plant cells as soil water becomes limited. Understanding the physiological fac - tors controlling water use and water retention is critically important for enhancing turfgrass survival during drought stress and for main - taining functional aesthetics with limited water resources. One of the major determinants of the plant water-use rate is the amount of leaf area available for transpiration, which is closely as - sociated with vertical growth rate of shoots. Cultural practices that suppress vertical shoot growth or reduce transpirational leaf area may reduce the plant water-use rate. Trinexapac-ethyl is one of the most widely used plant growth regulators for suppressing shoot growth and reducing clipping accumu - lation (5) and has also been found to reduce evapotranspirational water loss (1,2). Exog - enous application of trinexapac-ethyl before plant exposure to stress has been shown to improve turf quality under combined drought and heat stress (6) or drought stress alone (1,7,9) in several turfgrass species in con - trolled-environment growth chambers. The application of trinexapac-ethyl before drought events or preconditioning of turfgrass plants with trinexapac-ethyl may slow rates of water use and water depletion from the soil and pro - Turf quality 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A. 2010 PM-only + drought PM + GB + drought GB-only + drought Untreated drought control Well-watered control 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Days of drought stress Turf quality (1-9) Turf quality (1-9) 0 10 20 30 40 50 Days of drought stress PM-only + drought PM + GB + drought GB-only + drought Untreated drought control Well-watered control B. 2011 Figure 1. Turf quality (rated on a scale of 1-9) under well-watered control and drought stress in 2010 (A) and 2011 (B) for plants treated with Primo Maxx (PM only + drought), glycine betaine (GB only + drought), and Primo Maxx plus glycine betaine (PM + GB + drought). Vertical bars indicate LSD (least signifcant difference) values (P ≤ 0.05) for comparison between treatments at a given day of treatment where signifcant differences were detected. 080-089_July14_TechwellCuttingEdge copy.indd 80 6/18/14 9:08 AM

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