Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Pythium species associated with root dysfunction of creeping bentgrass in Maryland.

Abstract

Putting green samples (n=109) were inspected for the presence of Pythium oospores in roots of plants from golf courses (n=39) in Maryland and adjacent states in the USA. Twenty-eight Pythium isolates were recovered from creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris)[A. stolonifera var. palustris] (n=25) and annual bluegrass (Poa annua) (n=3) plants. Most isolates associated with Pythium-induced root dysfunction were from greens less than 3 years of age and were obtained primarily between March and June, 1995-97. Eight Pythium species (P. aristosporum, P. aphanidermatum, P. catenulatum, P. graminicola, P. torulosum, P. vanterpoolii, P. volutum and P. ultimum var. ultimum) were isolated from creeping bentgrass and 2 species (P. graminicola and P. torulosum) were from annual bluegrass. All species, except P. catenulatum, were pathogenic to 'Crenshaw' creeping bentgrass seedlings in postemergence pathogenicity tests. P. aristosporum (n=3) and P. aphanidermatum (n=1) were highly aggressive at a low (18°C) and a high temperature (28°). P. graminicola (n=1) was low to moderately aggressive. P. torulosum (n=12) was the most frequently isolated species, but most isolates were either nonpathogenic or caused very little disease. P. aristosporum (n=3) and P. aphanidermatum (n=1) were highly aggressive and were associated with rapid growth at 18 and 28° on cornmeal agar. P. volutum (n=1) was highly aggressive at 18°, but was one of slowest growing isolates. Infected roots were generally symptomless, and the number of oospores observed in roots was not always a good indicator of disease or of the aggressiveness of an isolate. Large numbers of oospores of low or even nonpathogenic species may cause dysfunction of creeping bentgrass roots.