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2020-02-06 Research Article

In vitro and preventative field evaluations of potential biological control agents and synthetic fungicides for control of Clarireedia jacksonii sp. nov.

Abstract

Clarireedia jacksonii sp. nov. Formerly Sclerotinia homoeocarpa F.T. Bennett, the causal agent of dollar spot (DS), is the most destructive pathogen in turfgrass. Symptoms appear as circular patches 10-40 mm in diameter with small tan lesions surrounded by a darker band, sometimes presenting an hour glass appearance. A multi-year study was initiated with the objective of determining the efficacy of biological control agents (BCA) and tank mixes of BCA’s and synthetic fungicides on DS control. Nutrient source was also evaluated to determine any interaction with the BCA’s and tank mixes. In vitro studies evaluated the efficacy of synthetic and BCA’s for C. jacksonii control. Quarter strength potato dextrose agar was amended with ¼, ½ and full labeled rates of various products. Chlorothalonil at all rates provided greatest (> 90%) control of C. jacksonii for study duration. Biological control agents provided best efficacy at ¼ and ½ label rates. Streptomyces griseoviridis provided least efficacy and may have exacerbated formation of C. jacksonii. Preventative field evaluations for synthetic and BCA’s provided different results between two study years. In Year 1, all treatments had < 15% disease severity for the duration of the study. In year 2, disease pressure was extremely elevated. Synthetic program 1, centered on azoxystrobin + propiconazole applications and conventional fertility sources, provided best results with < 5% disease severity for the duration of the study. Reduced synthetic program 1, and synthetic program 2 followed closely with < 10% disease severity. Reduced synthetic programs were based on monthly applications of either chlorothalonil or pyraclostrobin every 30 day, alternated with biofungicide applications. Synthetic program 2 utilized rotation applications of pyraclostrobin and chlorothalonil every 14 days. Organic programs, utilizing only biofungicides and organic fertility sources, provided the least amount of control and exceeded the 15% threshold by the second month of the evaluation period.

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