Dead spot (Ophiosphaerella agrostis) is a relatively new disease of young creeping bentgrass and hybrid bermudagrass putting greens in the United States. Little is known about the biology or genetic diversity of the pathogen. O. agrostis is unusual in that it produces prodigious numbers of pseudothecia in the field throughout the summer months and has no known asexual state. A total of 77 O. agrostis isolates were collected from 21 different bentgrass putting greens and one hybrid bermudagrass green in 11 states. DNA fingerprint analysis revealed that 78 out of 97 markers were polymorphic (80.4%), providing 57 unique profiles. Genetic variation of O. agrostis was diverse, and isolates separated into three distinct clades with ≥69% similarity. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that the geographic origins of the isolates and the ability to produce pseudothecia were the best indicators for genetic similarity among O. agrostis isolates. Colony color varied among the isolates, but generally was similar for isolates residing within two clades (B and C). Colony color of isolates within clade A appeared to be a mixture of the colony colors exhibited by clades B and C. Isolates examined within each clade generally had varying levels of pseudothecia production and varying colony colors when grown on PDA. Although O. agrostis is a homothallic species, it is unclear if outcrossing among strains occurs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science