Golf Course Management

MAR 2018

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

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03.18 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 71 cyanobacteria genera P ormidium was found colonizing creeping bentgrass putting green turf. Based on our observations from field stud - ies on the effect of phosphite applications along with previous research on phosphorous metab - olism in algal species, it is possible that a similar mechanism is responsible for the phosphite-in - duced suppression of P ormidium observed in the current studies. Results from these studies demonstrate that phosphite fungicides and fertilizers can be used to effectively suppress surface coloni - zation of creeping bentgrass putting greens by the cyanobacterium P ormidium species. Con - trol with these materials was comparable to that of conventional fungicides labeled for this purpose. Phosphite formulations and sources applied at equivalent rates of phosphorous acid all provided comparable control of cyanobac - teria. However, the potential for phytotoxicity increased when these materials were applied at rates of phosphorous acid ≥ 0.28 pound a.i./ square foot. Based on these studies, phosphite products — regardless of source or formula - tion — applied at 0.11 pound phosphorous acid/1,000 square feet can be used as routine applications to suppress cyanobacteria with minimal risk of phytotoxicity on creeping bent - grass putting greens. Acknowledgments This work was partially supported by a GCSAA Cooperative Research Grant from the Environmental Institute for Golf, in affili - ation with the Connecticut GCSA, the New Hampshire GCSA, the New England GCSA, the Metropolitan GCSA and the Tri-State Turfgrass Research Foundation. Literature cited 1. Baldwin, N.A., and B.A. Whitton. 1992. Cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae in sports turf and amenity grass - lands: a review. Journal of Applied Phycology 4:39-47. doi:10.1007/BF00003959 2. Cook, P.J., P.J. Landschoot and M.J. Schlossberg. 2009a. Inhibition of Pythium spp. and suppression of Pythium blight of turfgrasses with phosphonate fungicides. Plant Disease 93:809-814. doi:10.1094/ PDIS-93-8-0809 3. Cook, P.J., P.J. Landschoot and M. Schlossberg. 2009b. Suppression of anthracnose basal rot and improved putting green quality with phosphonate fungicides. International Turfgrass Society Research Journal 11:181-194. 4. Dempsey, J.J., I.D. Wilson, P.T.N. Spencer-Phillips and D.L. Arnold. 2012. Suppression of Microdochium nivale by potassium phosphite in cool-season turf- grasses. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica 62:70-78. doi:10.1080/09064710.2012.681392 5. Lee, T.M., P.F. Tsai, Y.T. Shyu and F. Sheu. 2005. The effects of phosphite on phosphate starvation responses of Ulva lactuca (Ulvales, Chlorophyta). Journal of Phycology 41:975-982. doi:10.1111/j.1529- 8817.2005.00119.x 6. Loera-Quezada M.M., M.A. Leyva-González, D. López- Arredondo and L. Herrera-Estrella. 2015. Phosphite cannot be used as a phosphorus source but is non- toxic for microalgae. Plant Science 231:124-130. doi:10.1016/j.plantsci.2014.11.015 7. McDonald, A.E., B.R. Grant and W.C. Plaxton. 2009. Phosphite (phosphorous acid): Its relevance in the environment and agriculture and influence on plant phosphate starvation response. Journal of Plant Nutri - tion 24:1505-1519. doi:10.1081/PLN-100106017 8. Tredway, L.P., L.J. Stowell and W.D. Gelernter. 2006. Yellow spot and the potential role of cyanobacteria as turfgrass pathogens. Golf Course Management 74(11):83-86. 9. Zhang, J., J. Geng, H. Ren, J. Luo, A. Zhang and X. Wang. 2011. Physiological and biochemical responses of Microcystis aeruginosa to phosphite. Chemosphere 85:1325-1330. doi:10.1016/j.chemo - sphere.2011.07.049 John C. Inguagiato ( is an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at the University of Connecticut, The RESEARCH SAYS • Algae, or cyanobacteria, is a common nuisance on greens where low mowing, shade or low fertility reduce turf vigor. • Phosphite suppression of algae surface infestations on putting green turf was equal to that of conventional fungicides. • All the commercially available phosphite products tested provided comparable algae control when applied at equivalent rates of active ingredient (that is, phosphorous acid), regardless of source or formulation. • Excessive phosphite rates (≥ 0.28 pound of phosphorous acid/square foot) can cause slight tip burn. • Phosphites applied at rates of 0.11 pound of phosphorous acid/1,000 square feet can routinely be used to suppress cyanobacteria with minimal risk of phytotoxicity on creeping bentgrass greens. Storrs, Conn. John E. Kaminski is an associate profes - sor and Timothy T. Lulis is a research technologist in the Department of Plant Science at Pennsylvania State Univer - sity, University Park, Pa. Figure 5. Increasing the application rate of phosphites can cause tip burn and reduction in turf quality. Alude 0.17 lbs a.i. 1000 ft -2 0.33 lbs a.i. 1000 ft -2 Alude Phosphite 30

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