Dwarf Bermudagrass Responses to Flurprimidol and Paclobutrazol

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  • 1 Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520
  • | 2 Department of Horticulture, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634-0375

Plant growth regulators are applied to inhibit uneven shoot growth of putting green turf but research is limited on responses of dwarf-type bermudagrass cultivars to growth inhibition. Experiments were conducted at the Clemson University Greenhouse Complex with `Champion' and `TifEagle' bermudagrass grown in polyvinylchloride containers with 40 cm depths and 177 cm2 areas built to United States Golf Association specification. Flurprimidol was applied at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.48 kg·ha–1 a.i. and paclobutrazol at 0.14 kg·ha–1 a.i. on separate containers. Flurprimidol at 0.28 and 0.42 kg·ha-1 caused 17% and 31% reduction in turf color 5 weeks after treatment (WAT), respectively. `Champion' exhibited unacceptable turf injury (>30%) 2 WAT from paclobutrazol and all flurprimidol rates. `TifEagle' had unacceptable turf injury from flurprimidol at 0.42 kg·ha–1 2 WAT, 0.28 kg·ha–1 3 WAT, and 0.14 kg·ha–1 4 WAT that did not recover. Moderate injury (16% to 30%) was observed from paclobutrazol on `TifEagle' but ratings were acceptable. After 6 weeks, flurprimidol at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha–1 reduced bermudagrass green shoot density (GSD) per square centimeter by 20%, 40%, and 40%, respectively, while paclobutrazol reduced GSD 12%. `TifEagle' total clipping yield was reduced 60%, 76%, and 86% from flurprimidol at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha–1, respectively, and 37% from paclobutrazol. `Champion' total clipping yield was reduced 82%, 90%, and 90% from flurprimidol at 0.14, 0.28, and 0.42 kg·ha–1, respectively, and 58% from paclobutrazol. After 6 weeks, flurprimidol reduced `Champion' total root mass by 44% over all three rates. `Champion' treated with paclobutrazol had similar total root mass to the untreated. `TifEagle' treated with all PGRs had similar rooting to the untreated. Overall, flurprimidol will likely not be suitable for dwarf bermudagrass maintenance at these rates; however paclobutrazol may have potential at ≤0.14 kg·ha–1. Chemical names used: Flurprimidol {α-(1-methylethyl)-α-[4-(trifluoro-methoxy) phenyl] 5-pyrimidine-methanol}; Paclobutrazol, (+/-)–(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl) methyl]-α-(1, 1-dimethyl)-1H-1,2,4,-triazole-1-ethanol.

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