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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07.14 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 81 mote plant survival for longer duration as soil becomes dry. The water-retention capacity of plants is regulated by the accumulation of compat - ible inorganic and organic solutes commonly referred to as osmoregulants or osmolytes, as they contribute to osmotic adjustment for in - creased or maintained cellular water retention. Glycine betaine, a quaternary ammonium compound, is a major osmoregulant that con - trols osmotic adjustment for plant adaptation to drought stress (8). Foliar application of gly - cine betaine has also been found to strengthen the antioxidant defense system of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) under drought or salinity stress (10). Exogenous application of glycine betaine has been shown to be effective in improving drought tolerance of various ag - ronomic crop species such as rice (3), but in- formation on the use of glycine betaine for im- proving turfgrass drought tolerance is limited. Studies in controlled-environment growth chambers have demonstrated positive effects of exogenous glycine betaine on growth and physiological activities of creeping bentgrass and Kentucky bluegrass during prolonged pe - riods of drought and salinity (10). It is antici- pated that glycine betaine application at the onset and during soil dry-down periods may alleviate leaf dehydration and sustain active growth and improved turf quality. Currently, many products that claim to be benefcial to plant health include an osmoregulant such as glycine betaine in their formulation. As previously demonstrated in controlled environments, when either trinexapac-ethyl or glycine betaine is applied singly, each has shown some positive effects on drought tol - erance of plants. The question is: Can se- quential application of trinexapac-ethyl and glycine betaine be more effective than using either product alone in feld conditions? We conducted a feld study in 2010 and 2011 to evaluate sequential applications of trinexapac- ethyl before drought stress and applications of glycine betaine at the onset of drought stress and during drought stress for effectively pro - moting turfgrass performance and physiologi- cal adjustments when water is withheld. Materials and methods The experiment was performed May through August in 2010 and 2011 on 4-year- old feld plots (5 feet × 6 feet [1.52 × 1.83 me - ters]) established with 007 creeping bentgrass. Drought treatments Figure 2. Drought-stressed turf plots treated with: Top, water only (untreated control), Primo Maxx (PM only) and glycine betaine (GB only); and Bottom, water only (untreated control) and Primo Maxx plus glycine betaine (PM + GB). Photos by P. Burgess 080-089_July14_TechwellCuttingEdge copy.indd 81 6/17/14 2:32 PM

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