Chemical and biological control of silvery threadmoss on creeping bentgrass putting greens
Post, Angela R
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Silvery threadmoss is a problematic weed of golf putting greens, growing interspersed with turf, decreasing aesthetic quality and playability. Moss is typically controlled postemergence and currently only one herbicide, carfentrazone, is registered for silvery threadmoss control on greens. Carfentrazone controls moss up to 75% applied at a three week interval throughout the growing season. Alternatives providing longer residual or more effective control are desirable. Studies were conducted to examine the growth of moss gametophytes from spores and bulbils and to evaluate turf protection products for pre and postemergence moss control. Moss gametophytes develop best from spores at 30"aC and from bulbils at 23"aC. Products which control moss equivalent to carfentrazone (>70%) both pre and postemergent include sulfentrazone, saflufenacil, flumioxazin, oxadiazon, and oxyfluorfen. Fosamine and fosetyl-Al alone controlled moss equivalent to carfentrazone post-, but not preemergent. 14C glyphosate absorption and translocation through moss colonies was examined from 12 to 192 hours after treatment (HAT) to understand how herbicides are absorbed by silvery threadmoss. It appears that 14C reaches equilibrium by 24 HAT in capillary water of the moss colony and inside moss tissues. Subsequently, 14C is lost to the system presumably through microorganism degradation of 14C glyphosate in capillary water. The final objective of this work was to identify and evaluate two fungal organisms observed to cause disease of silvery threadmoss on putting greens in efforts to develop a biological control. The organisms were identified by morphology and ITS sequence as Alternaria sp. and Sclerotium rolfsii. Alternaria sp. causes a leaf disease of silvery threadmoss and Sclerotium rolfsii causes Southern blight of silvery threadmoss. Host specificity testing demonstrated moderate pathogenicity of S. rolfsii to annual bluegrass but not to "¥Penn A4"" creeping bentgrass. Both organisms have potential to be effective biological controls for silvery threadmoss; however, host specificity indicates Alternaria sp. may be a better choice. Data from these experiments suggest herbicides in two chemical classes control mosses both pre and postemergence, and sulfentrazone, fosetyl-Al, and Alternaria sp. may be new alternatives to carfentrazone for use on golf putting greens.
- Doctoral Dissertations