Short-term and Residual Effects of Laccase Application on Creeping Bentgrass Thatch Layer

in HortScience

Organic layer formation in the form of thatch is a major problem in managed turfgrass systems. Biweekly application of laccase enzyme has been well-documented to facilitate the degradation of thatch and reduce the accumulation rate of organic matter in ‘Crenshaw’ creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.). A field experiment involving creeping bentgrass was conducted to evaluate the residual effects on thatch accumulation after ceasing laccase applications. A significant reduction in thatch layer thickness was observed at 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment initiation when laccase was applied at different rates and frequencies. Residual effects of laccase application were observed for thatch layer thickness, but no additional accumulation of thatch was observed 6 months after treatment cessation. At 18 months after treatment initiation, a significant increase in the thatch layer was observed where treatments had been ceased for 12 months, but no thatch accumulation was observed for laccase treatment for a second 6-month period during the second year. This information is critical to turf practitioners when developing laccase application protocols. Limiting laccase applications for a period of 6 months during 1 year was shown to be effective for thatch control.

Contributor Notes

This research was supported by funding from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (Lawrence, KS), Georgia Golf Environmental Foundation (Hartwell, GA), and Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station (Griffin, GA).

We thank Lewayne White and Matthew Aderhold for their excellent technical assistance.

Corresponding author. E-mail: s.sidhu@ufl.edu.

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Article Figures

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    Thatch layer thickness (TLT; in mm) at 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment initiation on creeping bentgrass. (A) Lacasse application rates. (B) Frequency of application of laccase. (C) Cultural management and laccase treatments. (D) Laccase sources. The stacked bars in (C) represent the depths of the thatch layer and sand deposition on plots after topdressing. Treatments are presented as the laccase source followed by the activity level (units·cm−2) and the application frequency (weeks) in parentheses. Values are the means of four replicates. The same letter within the bars (6 months = lowercase standard; 12 months = lowercase bold; 18 months = lowercase italics) and the same letter on top of the bars (duration effect = uppercase bold) are not considered statistically different according to Fisher’s protected least significant difference (lsd) at α = 0.05. CMC, cultural management control; SA, laccase procured from Sigma Aldrich; CHU, laccase procured from China (Jiangnan University); CHI, laccase procured from China (industrial supplier).

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    Extractive-free total lignin content (LT; in mg·g−1) at 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment initiation on creeping bentgrass. (A) Laccase application rates. (B) Frequency of laccase application. (C) Cultural management and laccase treatments. (D) Laccase sources. Treatments are presented as the laccase source followed by the activity level (units·cm−2) and application frequency (weeks) in parentheses. Values are the means of four replicates. The same letter within the bars (6 months = lowercase standard; 12 months = lowercase bold; 18 months = lowercase italics) and the same letter on top of the bars (duration effect = uppercase bolded) are not considered statistically different according to Fisher’s protected least significant difference (lsd) at α = 0.05. CMC, cultural management control; SA, laccase procured from Sigma Aldrich; CHU, laccase procured from China (Jiangnan University); CHI, laccase procured from China (industrial supplier).

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    Thatch layer thickness (TLT; in mm) at 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment initiation on creeping bentgrass. Laccase treatments 0 (control), SA 2.0 (2) for 6 months during year 1, and CHU 2.0 (2) for 6 months during year 1 and 6 months during year 2 are shown. Treatments are presented as the laccase source followed by the activity level (units·cm−2) and application frequency (weeks) in parentheses. Horizontal lines near the bottom of the graph represent periods of treatment application from 0 to 6 months and 12 to 18 months. Values are the means of four replicates. Treatments with the same letter within a sampling date (6 months = lowercase standard; 12 months = lowercase bold; 18 months = lowercase italics) are not considered statistically different according to Fisher’s protected least significant difference (lsd) at α = 0.05. SA, laccase procured from Sigma Aldrich; CHU, laccase procured from China (Jiangnan University).

  • View in gallery

    Extractive-free total lignin content (LT; in mg·g−1) at 6, 12, and 18 months after treatment initiation on creeping bentgrass. Laccase treatments 0 (control), SA 2.0 (2) for 6 months during year 1, and CHU 2.0 (2) for 6 months during year 1 and 6 months during year 2 are shown. Treatments are presented as the laccase source followed by the activity level (units·cm−2) and application frequency (weeks) in parentheses. Values are the means of four replicates. The same letter within the bars (6 months = lowercase standard; 12 months = lowercase bold; 18 months = lowercase italics) and the same letter on top of the bars representing the duration effect (control = uppercase standard; SA 2.0 (2) = uppercase bold; CHU 2.0 (2) = uppercase italics) are not considered statistically different according to Fisher’s protected least significant difference (lsd) at α = 0.05. SA, laccase procured from Sigma Aldrich; CHU, laccase procured from China (Jiangnan University).

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