Ophiosphaerella agrostis incites bentgrass dead spot (BDS) of creeping bentgrass. Little is known about the biology of O. agrostis; hence the primary goal of this study was to determine some basic biological properties of the pathogen and epidemiological components of the disease. Winter-dormant creeping bentgrass field samples showing symptoms of BDS were incubated at temperatures ranging from 15 to 30°C. Between 12 and 28 days of incubation, reactivation of BDS symptoms occurred at temperatures ≥20°C, but the greatest expansion in BDS patch diameter occurred at 25 and 30°C. The optimum temperatures for growth of hyphae among 10 O. agrostis isolates ranged from 25 to 30°C, and growth was suppressed at 35°C. Pseudothecia of O. agrostis were produced in vitro on a mixture of tall fescue seed and wheat bran. Pseudothecia developed under constant fluorescent light at 13 to 28°C, but no pseudothecia developed in darkness at any temperature. Pseudothecia developed in as few as 4 days, but the highest numbers appeared about 30 days after incubation began. Ascospores incubated at 25°C germinated in as little as 2 h, with germ tubes generally emerging from the terminal rather than interior cells of ascospores. Germination during the first 4 h of incubation was enhanced by both light and the presence of bentgrass leaves or roots. After 18 h of incubation, however, there were few differences in the percentage of ascospores germinated regardless of light treatment or presence of plant tissue.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science