Weed management is an important component of sweetpotato production. Currently, S-metolachlor is the only herbicide registered in sweetpotato that has some suppressive effect on nutsedge species (Cyperus spp.). It is integral that the release of any new germplasm from sweetpotato breeding programs be tolerant to S-metolachlor. Screening for thousands of experimental clones for S-metolachlor in a field trial would be cumbersome. Therefore, screening for tolerant lines might be streamlined in an hydroponics system. Research was conducted to determine whether a hydroponics assay could detect differences in S-metolachlor response between a known sensitive sweetpotato cultivar (Centennial) and a tolerant sweetpotato cultivar (Beauregard) in 10 days. Results of the study show that ‘Beauregard’ was ≈50 times more tolerant to S-metolachlor than ‘Centennial’ when accessing injury at the 25% threshold. No differences were detected in S-metolachlor response between cultivars in the soil-based assay. This assay could be used for screening for S-metolachlor tolerance in a sweetpotato breeding program.
Matthew A. Cutulle, H. Tyler Campbell, Monica Farfan, and Phillip A. Wadl
Giovanni A. Caputo, Phillip A. Wadl, Lambert McCarty, Jeff Adelberg, Katherine M. Jennings, and Matthew Cutulle
Weed competition is a main factor limiting sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam] production. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) is a problematic weed to control due to its ability to quickly infest a field and generate high numbers of tubes and shoots. Compounding this is the lack of a registered herbicide for selective postemergence control of yellow nutsedge. Research was conducted to evaluate the bentazon dose response of two sweetpotato cultivars and one advanced clone and to evaluate the plant hormone melatonin to determine its ability to safen bentazon post emergence. Bioassays using Murashige and Skoog (MS) media supplemented with melatonin (0.232 g a.i./L and 0.023 g a.i./L) and bentazon (0.24 g a.i./L) were conducted to evaluate the effect of bentazon on sweetpotato and to determine the interactive response of the Beauregard cultivar to bentazon and exogenous applications of melatonin. Beauregard swas the most tolerant cultivar and required dosages of bentazon that were two-times higher to cause the same injury compared with other cultivars. MS media containing melatonin and bentazon showed fewer injuries and higher plant mass than plants treated with bentazon alone. These results indicate that sweetpotato injury caused by bentazon may be reduced by melatonin.
Matthew A. Cutulle, Howard F. Harrison Jr., Chandresakar S. Kousik, Phillip A. Wadl, and Amnon Levi
A greenhouse trial was used to evaluate 159 accessions of bottle gourd [Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl.] obtained from the U.S. National Plant Germplasm for tolerance to clomazone herbicide. Most accessions tested were moderately or severely injured by clomazone at 3.0 mg·kg−1 incorporated into greenhouse potting medium; however, several exhibited lower injury. Seeds were produced from tolerant and susceptible plants for use in a greenhouse concentration–response experiment. About three to four times higher clomazone concentrations were required to cause moderate injury to tolerant bottle genotypes in comparison with susceptible genotypes. The differences in tolerance among genotypes were observed with injury ratings, chlorophyll measurements, and shoot weights. Clomazone may be used safely on tolerant bottle gourd genotypes, but the herbicide may not be safe for susceptible genotypes. Also, tolerant genotypes such as Grif 11942 may be desirable for use as rootstocks in grafted watermelon production.
Matthew A. Cutulle, Jeffrey F. Derr, David McCall, Brandon Horvath, and Adam D. Nichols
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) and hybrid bluegrass (Poa pratensis L. × Poa arachnifera) can both be successfully grown in the transition zone of the United States. However, each grass has limitations. Tall fescue is susceptible to the fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia solani, whereas slow establishment and susceptibility to weed infestations limit hybrid bluegrass. Previous studies have shown the benefits of combining kentucky bluegrass with tall fescue in seeding mixtures. Research was conducted to evaluate the impact of two seeding combinations of hybrid bluegrass and tall fescue (one combination seeded at a 1.9:1 seed count ratio favoring tall fescue, the other combination seeded at a 1:1.8 seed count ratio favoring hybrid bluegrass) as well as monocultures of the species on turfgrass cover, weed species infestation, brown patch disease severity caused by R. solani, sod strength and species ecology. The seeding combinations had lower weed density during establishment and greater turf cover than the monoculture of hybrid bluegrass. The monoculture of tall fescue was subjected to more brown patch disease than the seeding combinations during and after the first year of establishment. Brown patch infestations likely reduced tall fescue cover and led to a species shift favoring hybrid bluegrass in the seeding combinations based on tiller count and weight data. Seeding combinations of tall fescue and hybrid bluegrass are beneficial from an epidemiological perspective because they reduce disease and weed infestations compared with monocultures of either species. From an agronomic perspective, the seeding combination favoring tall fescue provided the densest turf, whereas the seeding combination favoring hybrid had the greatest sod strength. Chemical name used: clopyralid (3,6 dichloropyridine-2 carboxylic acid)
Dennis N. Katuuramu, W. Patrick Wechter, Marcellus L. Washington, Matthew Horry, Matthew A. Cutulle, Robert L. Jarret, and Amnon Levi
Root traits are an important component for productive plant performance. Roots offer immediate absorptive surfaces for water and nutrient acquisition and are thus critical to crop growth and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition, roots can provide the first line of defense against soilborne pathogens. Watermelon crop performance is often challenged by inclement weather and environmental factors. A resilient root system can support the watermelon crop’s performance across a diverse range of production conditions. In this study, 335 four-day-old watermelon (Citrullus spp.) seedlings were evaluated for total root length, average root diameter, total root surface area, and total root volume. Total root length varied from 8.78 to 181 cm (20.6-fold variation), total surface area varied from 2 to 35.5 cm2, and average root diameter and total root volume had an 8- and 29.5-fold variation, respectively. Genotypes PI 195927 (Citrullus colocynthis) and PI 674448 (Citrullus amarus) had the largest total root length values. Accessions PI 674448 and PI 494817 (C. amarus) had the largest total root surface area means. Watermelon cultivars (Citrullus lanatus) had a relatively smaller root system and significantly fewer fibrous roots when compared with the roots of the other Citrullus spp. Positive genetic correlations were identified among total root length, total root surface area, and total root volume. This genetic information will be useful in future breeding efforts to select for multiple root architecture traits in watermelon. Germplasm identified in this study that exhibit superior root traits can be used as parental choices to improve watermelon for root traits.
Matthew A. Cutulle, Gregory R. Armel, James T. Brosnan, Dean A. Kopsell, William E. Klingeman, Phillip C. Flanagan, Gregory K. Breeden, Jose J. Vargas, Rebecca Koepke-Hill, and Mark A. Halcomb
Selective weed control in ornamental plant production can be difficult as many herbicides can cause unacceptable injury. Research was conducted to evaluate the tolerance of several ornamental species to applications of p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD)-inhibiting herbicides for the control of problematic weeds in ornamental production. Mestotrione (0.09, 0.18, and 0.36 lb/acre), tembotrione (0.08, 0.16, and 0.32 lb/acre), and topramezone (0.016, 0.032, and 0.064 lb/acre) were applied alone postemergence (POST) in comparison with the photosystem II-inhibiting herbicide, bentazon (0.5 lb/acre). All herbicide treatments, with the exception of the two highest rates of tembotrione, caused less than 8% injury to ‘Noble Upright’ japanese holly (Ilex crenata) and ‘Compactus’ burning bush (Euonymus alatus). Similarly, no herbicide treatment caused greater than 12% injury to ‘Girard’s Rose’ azalea (Azalea). Conversely, all herbicides injured flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) 10% to 23%. Mesotrione- and tembotrione-injured ‘Radrazz’ rose (Rosa) 18% to 55%, compared with only 5% to 18% with topramezone. ‘Siloam June Bug’ daylily (Hemerocallis) injury with topramezone and tembotrione was less than 10%. Topramezone was the only herbicide evaluated that provided at least 93% control of redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus) with all application rates by 4 weeks after treatment (WAT). Redroot pigweed was controlled 67% to 100% with mesotrione and tembotrione by 4 WAT, but this activity was variable among application rates. Spotted spurge (Chamaesyce maculata) was only adequately controlled by mesotrione applications at 0.18 and 0.36 lb/acre, whereas chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria) was not controlled sufficiently with any herbicide evaluated in these studies. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) was suppressed 72% to 87% with mesotrione applications at 0.18 lb/acre or higher and with bentazon at 0.5 lb/acre by 4 WAT. All other herbicide treatments provided less than 58% control of yellow nutsedge. In the second study, ‘Patriot’ hosta (Hosta), ‘Green Sheen’ pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora), ‘Little Princess’ spirea (Spiraea japonica), ‘Green Giant’ arborvitae (Thuja plicata), and ‘Rosea’ weigela (Weigela florida) displayed no response to topramezone when applied at 0.024 and 0.095 lb/acre. Since 10 ornamental species in our studies exhibited less than 10% herbicidal response with all rates of at least one HPPD-inhibiting herbicide then it is possible that these herbicides may provide selective POST weed control in ornamental production systems.