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  • Author or Editor: A.J. Koski x
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The effects of trinexapac-ethyl (TE) on the anatomical and biochemical composition of turfgrasses and their implications for its field use are poorly understood. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine if application of TE increased Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) leaf blade cell density, chlorophyll concentration, or structural carbohydrate content. Kentucky bluegrass (KB) sod was harvested from the field, established in greenhouse pots, and sprayed with 0.27 kg·ha-1 a.i. TE. Leaf blade samples were collected 4 weeks after treatment (WAT), fixed in glutaraldehyde, and embedded in Spurr resin. Photomicrographs of longitudinal leaf blade sections were used to determine cell density, cell length, and cell width. Chlorophyll and structural carbohydrate contents were determined at 2 and 4 WAT. Treatment with TE increased cell density and chlorophyll-b concentration, while reducing cell length, but structural carbohydrate content was unaffected. Chemical name used: 4-cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl).

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A growth chamber and a greenhouse study were conducted to determine if successive applications of trinexapac-ethyl (TE) to developing perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) plants would reduce leaf elongation rate (LER) while increasing tiller number and root mass. Growth parameters measured were LER, tiller number, and root mass. In the growth chamber, developing perennial ryegrass plants were sprayed twice with TE at 0.24 kg·ha-1 a.i. at 20 and 40 days after emergence. Leaf elongation rate was reduced by ≈35% following two applications of TE in both growth chamber experiments. This treatment increased the number of tillers per plant in the growth chamber at 60 days after emergence and in the greenhouse at 150 days after emergence, but had no effect on root or shoot mass in either location. Multiple applications of TE to developing perennial ryegrass turfs may favor quicker establishment in terms of tillering, while substantially reducing mowing requirement. Chemical names used: 4-cyclopropyl-α-hydroxy-methylene-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexanecarboxylic acid ethyl ester (trinexapac-ethyl).

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Salt problems in turfgrass sites are becoming more common. The effects of mowing management on salinity tolerance are not well understood. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of three mowing regimes on turf quality and growth responses of `L-93' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris L.) to salinity stress. Sods of `L-93' creeping bentgrass were grown in containers (45 cm long and 10 cm in diameter) in a greenhouse. Treatments included three mowing regimes (clipping three times weekly at 25.4 mm, four times at 12.7 mm, and daily at 6.4 mm) and four levels of irrigation water salinity (control, 5, 10, and 15 dS·m-1). The relationship of increasing soil salinity with increasing irrigation water salinity was linear in each soil layer. Increasing salinity reduced turf quality and clipping yield more severely and rapidly when mowed at 6.4 mm than at 12.7 or 25.4 mm. Regression analysis of soil salinity and turf quality suggested that turf quality of creeping bentgrass mowed to 6.4, 12.7, and 25.4 mm fell to an unacceptable level when soil salinity reached 4.1, 12.5, and 13.9 dS·m-1, respectively. Data on turf quality, clipping yield, and verdure indicated that salinity damage becomes more severe under close mowing conditions and that a moderate increase in mowing height could improve salinity tolerance of creeping bentgrass.

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Understanding the possible influence of inorganic soil amendments on salt leaching and deposition is helpful in selecting soil amendments when salinity is a problem. Greenhouse experiments were conducted to: 1) evaluate the effects of isolite and zeolite on turf quality of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) under three salinity levels; and 2) determine if soil amendments affected leachate composition, salt deposition, and soil sodium absorption ratio (SAR). `Challenger' Kentucky bluegrass was grown in columns filled with 100% sand, 50 sand: 50 isolite, and 50 sand: 50 zeolite (v/v). Irrigation waters with three levels of salinity [0.25 (control), 3.5, or 6.5 dS·m-1] were applied daily for 3 months in Study I and for 6 months in Study II. Saline water reduced turf quality compared with control. Amendment of sand with isolite increased turf quality only during the third month of treatment with the most saline water in Study I. However, zeolite increased turf quality during both the second and third months at both salinity levels in both studies. The beneficial effects of zeolite on turf quality diminished 5 and 6 months after salinity treatments. Amending sand with zeolite reduced leaching of Na+ and K+, but increased the leaching of Ca2+ and Mg2+. Amending sand with zeolite increased SAR values by 0.9, 1.6, and 6.3 units in Study I and 0.9, 3.6, and 10.9 units in Study II, under control, 3.5, and 6.5 dS·m-1 salinity treatments, respectively. Isolite increased SAR by 1.1-1.6 units with 3.5 dS·m-1 and by 2.5-3.5 units with 6.5 dS·m-1 salinity treatments. Results indicate that amending with zeolite may buffer soil solution Na+ concentration in the short-term. In the long-term, however, a substantial amount of Na+ may be retained concurrent with Ca2+ and Mg2+ exchange, thereby increasing sodicity and salinity problems.

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Salt-tolerant turfgrass is highly desirable in areas associated with saline soils or saline irrigation waters. To determine the salt tolerance of 14 saltgrass [Distichlis spicata var. stricta (Greene)] selections, two greenhouse studies were conducted by means of a hydroponic culture system. Five salinity levels (from 2 to 48 dS·m−1) were created with ocean salts. In general, turf quality decreased and leaf firing increased as salinity increased. However, varying levels of salt tolerance were observed among selections based on leaf firing, turf quality, root growth, and clipping yield. Selections COAZ-01, COAZ-18, CO-01, and COAZ-19 exhibited the best turf quality and the least leaf firing at 36 and 48 dS·m−1 salinity levels in both Experiments 1 and 2. At the highest salinity level (48 dS·m−1), COAZ-18 and COAZ-19 exhibited the highest root activity among all accessions. Salinity levels that caused 25% clipping reduction ranged from 21.2 to 29.9 dS·m−1 and were not significantly different among entries. The data on 25% clipping reduction salinity of saltgrass generated in this study rank saltgrass as one of the most salt-tolerant species that can be used as turf.

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