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Carlos E. Bogran, H. Brent Pemberton, Thomas Isakeit, and William R. Roberson

A strain of Rhizoctonia solani was isolated from wax begonia (Begonia Semperflorens-Cultorum hybrids) plants in garden evaluation trial plots. This strain was then used to test for disease tolerance in a controlled environment experiment. Inoculated plants of 12 cultivars were evaluated for disease development and the area under the disease progress curve was calculated. No plants were disease free, but `Stara White', `Stara Pink', and three colors from the Party series exhibited greater disease tolerance than `Ambassador Coral', `Ambassador Deep Rose', and two experimental varieties. `Stara White', `Party Pink Bronze Leaf', and `Party White Bronze Leaf' were more tolerant than `Cocktail Vodka', an industry standard. When the same cultivars were grown in field garden evaluation plots, `Cocktail Vodka', four colors from the Stara series, and three colors from the Party series exhibited superior garden performance and flowering ratings to `Ambassador Coral' and an experimental `Rose' cultivar. For most cultivars, garden performance was correlated to disease tolerance. However, `Cocktail Vodka' exhibited good garden performance despite having a high level of disease in the inoculation experiment, indicating that other factors may be involved in determining garden performance.

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Mark W. Farnham and Anthony P. Keinath

Wirestem, caused by Rhizoctonia solani, is a destructive disease of B. oleracea cole crops and is distributed worldwide. Effective means of wirestem control include soil fumigation and soil treatment with pentachloronitrobenzene, which are increasingly expensive and environmentally undesirable. As a consequence, alternative methods of wirestem control are needed. Thus, we conducted controlled-environment and field experiments to develop methodology to study host-plant resistance and possibly biocontrol agents as potential wirestem control alternatives. Seedlings of 12 cultivars (three each of cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and collard) at the four- to five-leaf stage were transplanted to trays in a growth room or into field plots and covered with soil infested with R. solani AG-4 sclerotia. Disease progression (percent of plants healthy, diseased, and dead) was observed every 3 days for 2 weeks in the controlled environments and for 3 weeks in field trials. At the end of two studies, plants were dug with roots intact and rated for disease using a 1 to 10 scale. In all trials, percent healthy plants stabilized at about 2 weeks after inoculation. Incidence of wirestem disease varied among experiments ranging from 70% to 100% diseased, dead plants in controlled environments, and from 51% to 88% and 33% 65% in the two respective field studies. Disease rating was always negatively and significantly correlated with percent healthy plants. Although a genotype × environment interaction was observed, some cultivars (i.e., `Snowcone' and `Snowcrown' cauliflowers) were always severely diseased, while others (i.e., `Viking' broccoli and `Blue Max' collard) were consistently among the least diseased.

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Craig S. Charron and Carl E. Sams

The U.S. Clean Air Act bans the use of methyl bromide after 2005. Consequently, the development of alternative methods for control of soilborne pathogens is imperative. One alternative is to exploit the pesticidal properties of Brassica L. species. Macerated leaves (10 g) from `Premium Crop' broccoli [B. oleracea L. (Botrytis Group)], `Charmant' cabbage [B. oleracea L. (Capitata Group)], `Michihili Jade Pagoda' Chinese cabbage [B. rapa L. (Pekinensis Group)], `Blue Scotch Curled' kale [B. oleracea L. (Acephala Group)], Indian mustard [B. juncea (L.) Czerniak, unknown cultivar] or `Florida Broadleaf' mustard [B. juncea (L.) Czerniak] were placed in 500-mL glass jars. Petri dishes with either Pythium ultimum Trow or Rhizoctonia solani Kühn plugs on potato-dextrose agar were placed over the jar mouths. Radial growth of both fungi was suppressed most by Indian mustard. Volatiles were collected by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) comprised >90% of the volatiles measured from `Florida Broadleaf' mustard and Indian mustard whereas (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate was the predominant compound emitted by the other species. Isothiocyanates were not detected by SPME from `Premium Crop' broccoli and `Blue Scotch Curled' kale although glucosinolates were found in freeze-dried leaves of all species. When exposed to AITC standard, P. ultimum growth was partially suppressed by 1.1 μmol·L-1 (μmol AITC/headspace volume) and completely suppressed by 2.2 μmol·L-1 R. solani was partially suppressed by 1.1, 2.2, and 3.3 μmol·L-1 AITC. Use of Brassica species for control of fungal pathogens is promising; the presence of AITC in both lines of B. juncea suppressed P. ultimum and R. solani but some Brassicas were inhibitory even when isothiocyanates were not detected.

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D.E. Green II, J.D. Fry, J.C. Pair, and N.A. Tisserat

Mowing heights from 1.2 to 5.1 cm, five N sources with two application rates (74 and 148 kg N/ha per year), and seven preemergence herbicides were evaluated in field studies in Manhattan and Wichita, Kan., for their effect on large patch disease, caused by Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn AG 2-2, in zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.). Turf mowed at 1.2 and 2.5 cm was more severely blighted than turf mowed at 4.5 or 5.1 cm. At all mowing heights, turf recovered by August or September. Disease severity was not influenced by N source, N rate, or preemergence herbicides.

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Michael S. Uchneat and Todd C. Wehner

Belly rot, caused by the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani Kühn., is a severe disease in many regions that produce cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.). Annual crop loss to belly rot is commonly 5% to 10%, but losses as high as 80% can occur in individual fields. There are no resistant cultivars, so fungicides are used to provide partial control. Genetic resistance in an acceptable cultivar would be more desirable and economical. Studies were conducted in Summers 1991 and 1992 to screen promising germplasm for belly rot resistance using field and detached-fruit screening methods. In 1991, 105 cultigens (cultivars, breeding lines, and plant introduction accessions) were evaluated for belly rot resistance. The tests were repeated in 1992 with 63 cultigens, including the most resistant cultigens identified in 1991 and appropriate controls. Several cultigens were identified as potential sources of resistance genes. Pickling cucumbers showing resistance included PI 197085, PI 271328, and an F4 selection of PI 197087 × PI 280096. Slicing cucumbers with resistance included `Marketmore 76' and the F1 of Gy 14 × PI 197087. Belly rot resistance was not correlated with other horticultural traits measured, including fruit type, skin type, spine color, and firmness. The resistant cultigens identified should be useful for developing cucumber cultivars with enhanced resistance to Rhizoctonia solani.

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Michael A. Fidanza and Peter H. Dernoeden

A field investigation was conducted during 1991 and 1992 to determine the effectiveness of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to predict brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kühn) infection events in `Caravelle' perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Turfgrass samples were collected either between 7:00 and 8:00 am or 4:00 and 5:00 pm, and from plots mowed to a height of either 1.7 or 4.5 cm. Pathogen detection levels were generally higher in am-sampled turf and in plots mowed to a height of 4.5 cm. During 2 years, only 7 of 15 infection events were predicted from samples collected from high-cut turf and only three from samples collected from low-cut turf. While this technology is useful for confirming the presence of R. solani, it was unreliable for predicting infection events.

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J.H. Dunn, D.D. Minner, B.F. Fresenburg, and S.S. Bughrara

We evaluated the effect of fertilization treatments in combination with clippings disposal on perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) in two adjacent locations. Clippings left on turf during mowing decreased dollar spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa F.T. Bennett) in both locations during three summers compared with clippings removed in mower baskets. However, brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn) increased during July and Aug. 1995 when clippings were left on turf. Dollar spot was more severe with N (kg·ha–1·year–1) at 120 compared to 240; brown patch was more severe at 240. While clippings disposal had significant effects on disease incidence, implementation may not be practical because of the contrary responses of the observed diseases to this management approach.

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Todd C. Wehner, Nischit V. Shetty, and Joseph T. Sloane

Field and detached-fruit screening tests were developed for evaluating cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) plant introduction accessions, breeding lines, and cultivars (hereafter collectively referred to as cultigens) for resistance to fruit rot caused by Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn. The factors that were examined for developing a detached-fruit test were five inoculum levels of R. solani AG-4 and two cover treatments. The major influence on disease reaction was inoculum level. The best method used 50-mm-diameter fruit placed on sterile soil inoculated with 6400 oat grains/m2 colonized with R. solani and watered initially, then misted every 3 days for 1 minute, left uncovered, and rated after 10 days for the percentage of the fruit surface covered with lesions. Field and detached-fruit tests were conducted using two different inoculum levels of R. solani (3200 and 4800 oat grains/m2). The four most resistant cultigens, based on the results of field and detached-fruit tests, were PI 163216, PI 197088, PI 357852, and PI 280096. One field and detached-fruit test pair was not significantly correlated (detached-fruit screening test one vs. field screening test one), but the other (detached-fruit test two vs. field screening test two) was correlated (r = 0.50). The detached-fruit test could be used for general classification of resistance or susceptibility. Resistant cultigens could be identified with either method, but the field test had slightly lower coefficients of variation.

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D.M. Benson

Several fungicides, including benomyl, flutolanil, iprodione, metalaxyl, and a mixture of metalaxyl and benomyl that control rhizoctonia stem rot (Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn) of poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherriman Willd. ex Kl.) were evaluated for inhibition of poinsettia root initials and suppression of root elongation. Fungicides were applied as either foliar sprays to poinsettia cuttings in rooting cubes or as soaks of rooting cubes before sticking of cuttings. Rooting cube soaks of iprodione and benomyl and fungicide sprays of iprodione, benomyl, and chlorothalonil inhibited root initiation as measured by root counts 28 days after sticking cuttings. However, root elongation as measured by root rating was similar for all fungicides and the untreated control at 28 days. Plant height of rooted poinsettia cuttings transplanted to 400-cm3 pots was significantly less (P = 0.05) only for cuttings sprayed initially with iprodione, but not for rooting cubes soaked in iprodione 58 days after transplanting. The inhibitory effect of other fungicides on root initiation did not appear to affect plant growth once plants were transplanted. Chemical names used: methyl 1-(butyl-carbamoyl)-2-benzimidazolecarbamate (benomyl); tetrachloroisophthalonitrile (chlorothalonil); N -[3-(methylethoxy)phenyl]-2-(trifluoromethyl)benzamide (flutolanil); 3-(3,5dichlorophenyl)N -(lmethylethyl)-2,4-dioxo-l-imidazolidinecarboxamide (iprodione); N -(2,6-dimethylphyenyl)N -(methoxyacetyl) alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl).

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Gladis M. Zinati

The discovery of disease suppression in certain bark composts increased the interest in using compost as growing substrate to control root rot diseases caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi. Disease suppression mechanisms include antibiosis, competition, hyperparasitism, and induced systemic resistance. Although abiotic factors may influence disease suppression, the latter is often based on microbial interactions—the two common mechanisms being general for pythium (Pythium spp.) and phytophthora root rot (Phytophthora spp.) and specific for rhizoctonia (Rhizoctonia solani). The discovery of disease suppression agents in compost led to the development of biocontrol agent-fortified compost during the last decade of the 20th century. The suggested recommendations for future research and extension outreach may include 1) development of methods to manage bacterial and viral diseases through the use of compost; 2) exploration of the potential effects of fortified compost on insect pests suppression; 3) improvement of inoculation methods of composts with biocontrol agents to produce consistent levels of disease suppression at the commercial scale; 4) development of effective fortified compost teas for suppressing foliar diseases; 5) education of compost producers on methods of production of fortified compost that suppress specific diseases; and 6) education of end-users on uses of fortified compost and its by-products.