Zinc Requirements of Annual Bluegrass and Creeping Bentgrass

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  • 1 Department of Agronomy, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-3504

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) is becoming an important component of golf course putting greens. A greenhouse sand culture experiment was conducted to study the zinc (Zn) requirements of three genotypes of flowering annual bluegrass (FAB) and three genotypes of vegetative annual bluegrass (VAB), which were compared with the three parents of `Penncross' creeping bentgrass [Agrostis stolonifera L. (CB)]. Clonally propagated plants were grown in sand culture without Zn for 6 weeks prior to the initiation of the Zn treatments. The plants were then irrigated for 3 weeks with half-strength Hoagland's nutrient solution containing 0, 2.5, 5.0, or 40 mg·L-1 Zn from ZnSO4. Color was the only parameter affected by genotype; each genotype showed a significant quadratic response to increasing levels of Zn, with highest color ratings occurring at 2.5 mg·L-1. No genotypic differences were observed among CB, VAB, and FAB for shoot fresh and dry weight, root dry weight, or shoot tissue Zn concentrations. Shoot dry weight of all genotypes increased quadratically with Zn levels. Root dry weights of both VAB and FAB increased, while that of CB remained unchanged, as Zn level increased. Zinc concentrations in shoot tissue increased linearly as Zn level increased. Shoot Zn concentrations were higher in both VAB and FAB than in CB at each Zn level, but differences between VAB and FAB were insignificant. Maintaining shoot Zn concentrations below 109 mg·kg-1 in CB and 200 mg·kg-1 in VAB or FAB prevented Zn phytotoxicity from occurring.

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