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.
Giovanni A. Caputo, Phillip A. Wadl, Lambert McCarty, Jeff Adelberg, Katherine M. Jennings, and Matthew Cutulle
Matthew A. Cutulle, H. Tyler Campbell, Monica Farfan, and Phillip A. Wadl
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, 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)
Robert Andrew Kerr, Lambert B. McCarty, Matthew Cutulle, William Bridges, and Christopher Saski
Goosegrass (Eleusine indica L. Gaertn.) is a problematic C4 weedy grass species, occurring in the warmer regions of the world where it is difficult to selectively control without injuring the turfgrass. Furthermore, control efficacy is affected by plant maturity. End-user options for satisfactory goosegrass control has decreased; thus, the need for developing management techniques to improve the selectivity of POST goosegrass control options in turfgrass systems is ever increasing. One possible means of providing control, yet maintaining turf quality is immediately incorporating applied products via irrigation. Greenhouse and field trials were conducted in Pickens County, SC, with the objectives of 1) evaluating turfgrass injury following use of POST goosegrass control options; 2) assessing if irrigating (0.6 cm) immediately following the herbicide application reduces injury of ‘Tifway 419’ bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × Cynodon transvaalensis Burtt-Davy]; and 3) determining if immediate irrigation influences goosegrass control at one- to three-tiller and mature growth stage. Following the application of herbicide treatments, irrigation was applied (+) or not applied (−). Treatments included the following: control (+/− irrigation); topramezone at 12.3 g a.i./ha (+/− irrigation); metribuzin at 420 g a.i./ha (+/− irrigation); and topramezone plus metribuzin (+/− irrigation) at 12.3 and 420 g a.i./ha. Irrigation treatment had minimum effect on greenhouse-grown goosegrass biomass, all treatments provided >85% control of 1- to 3-tiller goosegrass plants. However, control for mature plants was <50% for topramezone- and 60% to 70% for metribuzin-containing treatments. In field studies, at 1 week after treatment (WAT), the irrigated metribuzin and topramezone plus metribuzin had ≈37% and ≈16%, respectively, less goosegrass control vs. nonirrigated treatments. At 2WAT, irrigated metribuzin and irrigated topramezone plus metribuzin–treated plots, had ≈50% less mature goosegrass control vs. nonirrigated treatments. Irrigated herbicide treatments, however, experienced ≈23% less turfgrass injury at this time. At 4 WAT, irrigated metribuzin- and irrigated topramezone plus metribuzin–treated plots experienced reduced mature goosegrass control by ≈65% and ≈59%, respectively. Overall, incorporating POST herbicide applications via 0.6 cm of irrigation reduced turfgrass injury by at least 20% for all herbicide treatments, while maintaining goosegrass control.
Tanner Donahoo, Lisha Zhang, Matthew Cutulle, and Abolfazl Hajihassani
Increasing regulations and restrictions regarding on-farm chemical use and growing consumer demands for organic food products warrant the development of efficient biological methods for plant disease control and pest management. Grafting and anaerobic soil disinfestation are two sustainable crop production techniques developed to control and regulate weeds, root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita), and soilborne pathogens. Therefore, the present study explores the economic impact of using grafting and anaerobic soil disinfestation, independently and in conjunction, to determine the best combination in terms of yield and net returns for producers. This study drew from tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) field trials conducted in 2020 on a 0.5-acre plot at the Clemson Coastal Research and Education Center in Charleston, SC, where five grafting and three anaerobic soil disinfestation treatments were used in combinations for comparisons. Each treatment combination was subjected to sealed (plastic mulch covering a plot punctured 5 weeks after applying anaerobic soil disinfestation treatment) and unsealed (plastic mulch covering a plot punctured immediately after the application of anaerobic soil disinfestation treatment) plot conditions during the anaerobic soil disinfestation phase of plant bed preparation. Treatment combinations with cottonseed meal carbon-sourced anaerobic soil disinfestation were unviable because of lower net returns compared with treatment combinations without anaerobic soil disinfestation in nearly every case. Grafting (‘Roadster’ self-grafted) combined with molasses and chicken manure carbon-sourced anaerobic soil disinfestation under unsealed plot conditions was the most optimal treatment combination in the field trials with the greatest gains (net return per acre) to producers. The positive synergistic effects of combining these methods suggest that grafting and anaerobic soil disinfestation yield better results in conjunction than separately.
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.