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James T. Brosnan, Adam W. Thoms, Gregory K. Breeden, and John C. Sorochan

Data describing effects of plant growth regulator (PGR) applications on bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) traffic tolerance are limited. A 2-year study was conducted evaluating effects of several PGRs on ‘Riviera’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.) traffic tolerance. Treatments included 1) ethephon at 3.8 kg·ha−1; 2) trinexapac-ethyl (TE) at 0.096 kg·ha−1; 3) paclobutrazol at 0.28 kg·ha−1; 4) flurprimidol at 0.0014 kg·ha−1; 5) flurprimidol + TE at 0.0014 kg·ha−1 + 0.096 kg·ha−1, respectively; 6) ethephon + TE at 3.8 kg·ha−1 + 0.096 kg·ha−1, respectively; and 7) untreated control. All treatments were applied three times on a 21-d interval before trafficking. Plots were subjected to three simulated football games per week with the Cady Traffic Simulator. Traffic began 2 weeks after the last sequential application of each PGR. Turfgrass color, quality, and cover were quantified weekly using digital image analysis. Turfgrass cover measurements were used to assess traffic tolerance. Improvements in turfgrass color, quality, and cover were observed with applications of TE, ethephon + TE, and flurprimidol + TE. Turfgrass color, quality, and cover were enhanced for ethephon + TE and flurprimidol +TE compared with applications of ethephon and flurprimidol alone. Considering that no differences in turfgrass color, quality, or cover were detected among TE, ethephon + TE, and flurprimidol + TE at any time in the study, the responses observed suggest that TE may have a greater impact than other PGRs on ‘Riviera’ bermudagrass athletic field turf when applied before traffic stress. Chemical names used: rthephon (2-chloroethyl)phosphonic acid; glurprimidol {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; trinexapac-ethyl [4-(cyclopropyl-[α]-hydroxymethylene)-3,5-dioxo-cyclohexane carboxylic acid ethyl ester].

Open access

Isaac T. Mertz, Nick E. Christians, and Adam W. Thoms

Amino acids have been reported to improve turfgrass growth compared with mineral nutrition; however, amino acid catabolism in plants has not been well studied. A number of turfgrass fertilizers contain amino acids; however, some amino acids may be more effective additives in fertilizers than others. Three amino acids that could be effective nitrogen sources for plant growth are the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). The BCAA leucine (L), isoleucine (IL), and valine (V) could be effective additives because they are nonpolar and hydrophobic, which can promote plant uptake of these compounds. Although the effect of exogenously applied BCAA on plant growth is not well known, BCAAs have been reported to increase protein synthesis in humans, and that rate of increase is related to the intake ratio of L to IL and V. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of L, IL, and V as a nitrogen sources on creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) and to investigate the effect of BCAAs on plant growth when all three are applied as a combination. Using specially made rooting tubes, L, IL, and V were applied in a complete factorial and compared with equal urea nitrogen at four rates, as well as an untreated control. Where all three BCAAs were applied in combination, the application ratios of 2:1:1 and 4:1:1 (L:IL:V) were tested. At 63 days after seeding, there were no differences in root length, root weight, or shoot weight; however, BCAA 2:1:1 and 4:1:1 increased creeping bentgrass shoot density by 24% and 32%, respectively, compared with equal urea nitrogen. Where shoot density was increased, nitrogen application rate had no effect. On the basis of these results, BCAAs applied in a complete combination using ratios of 2:1:1 or 4:1:1 (3.03 lb/acre N) will provide a greater creeping bentgrass shoot density compared with equal urea nitrogen.

Open access

Isaac T. Mertz, Nick E. Christians, and Adam W. Thoms

The branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) leucine (L), isoleucine (IL), and valine (V) are synthesized in plants and are essential to growth in most organisms. These compounds can be absorbed by the plant when foliarly applied, but plant catabolism of BCAA is not completely understood. A recent study observed that BCAA applied in a 2:1:1 or 4:1:1 ratio (L:IL:V) increased creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera) shoot density compared with applications of equal urea nitrogen (N) at 3.03 lb/acre N. The present study investigated whether those increases could translate to a quicker establishment rate of creeping bentgrass grown from seed in standard greenhouse pots. The BCAA applications were compared with equal N applications using urea and a commercially available amino acid product. All N treatments were applied at 3.03 lb/acre N, per application and applied a total of four times on a 14-day interval starting 14 days after seeding. Measurements included final shoot density counts and root and shoot weights, as well as digital image analysis of percent green cover for each greenhouse pot every 7 days. No differences were observed after 70 days in shoot weight, or percent green cover between BCAA treatments and urea; however, BCAA 2:1:1 and 4:1:1 increased shoot density 21% and 30%, respectively, compared with urea, and were equal to the commercially available amino acid product. Applications of BCAA 4:1:1 also increased creeping bentgrass rooting weight by a factor of 7 compared with urea N.

Full access

William D. Haselbauer, Adam W. Thoms, John C. Sorochan, James T. Brosnan, Brian M. Schwartz, and Wayne W. Hanna

Hybrid bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon × C. transvaalensis) varieties such as Tifway and TifSport commonly are used on athletic fields. Several experimental hybrid bermudagrasses have been recently developed. However, data describing the performance of these bermudagrasses under simulated athletic field traffic are limited. A 2-year study was conducted evaluating the traffic tolerance of five experimental (2004-76, 2004-83, 2004-78, Tift 11, and 2004-77) and three commercially available (‘Tifway’, ‘TifSport’, and ‘TifGrand’) hybrid bermudagrasses. These bermudagrasses were subjected to two mowing (mowing at 0.87 inches or mowing at 0.87 inches + grooming to a 0.10-inch depth) and overseeding [no overseeding or overseeding with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) at 12 lb/1000 ft2 of pure live seed] regimes. Simulated traffic tolerance using the Cady traffic simulator (CTS) was quantified using measurements of turfgrass cover with digital image analysis (DIA). Experimental bermudagrasses Tift 11 and 2004-76 and the commercially available variety TifGrand yielded turfgrass cover values greater than or equal to ‘Tifway’, a commonly used variety, on all rating dates each year. Experimental bermudagrass 2004-83 yielded the lowest turfgrass cover values on each date. Findings suggest that ‘TifGrand’, 2004-76, and Tift 11 may be suitable for use on athletic fields.