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Te-Ming Tseng, Swati Shrestha, James D. McCurdy, Erin Wilson and Gourav Sharma

Annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) is an annual weed that is particularly troublesome in managed turfgrass. It has been controlled conventionally with herbicides, including acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors. However, resistance to ALS inhibitors has been documented throughout the southeastern United States since 2012. A rate response trial was conducted to confirm and determine the resistance level of suspected resistant P. annua biotypes from Mississippi (Reunion), followed by DNA sequencing to determine whether the mechanism of resistance is a target-site mutatio n. In addition, a fitness assay was conducted together with a susceptible biotype to determine whether resistance to ALS inhibitors is associated with decreased fitness. Reunion was at least 45 times more resistant to foramsulfuron than the standard susceptible biotype based on I50 estimates [I50 is the rate of herbicide giving a 50% response (50% visual necrosis)], requiring a predicted 331 g a.i./ha foramsulfuron for 50% control. DNA sequencing results identified a Trp574-to-Leu mutation in the ALS gene of the Reunion biotype, which has been shown by other studies to confer resistance to ALS inhibitors. Measurement of fitness parameters among the Reunion and susceptible biotypes demonstrated reduced seed yield, tillering, and flowering time in the resistant Reunion biotype, suggesting that ALS inhibitor resistance is possibly correlated to decreased fitness in P. annua. Alternative methods to control P. annua need to be considered as a result of the evolution of herbicide-resistant biotypes. An integrated management strategy to control P. annua weeds will help prevent further evolution of resistance. Because this study evaluated only the target-site mechanism of resistance, it is also necessary to determine whether the resistant biotype has reduced uptake, translocation, or enhanced metabolism as additional mechanisms of resistance. Consequently, a fitness study encompassing a more comprehensive list of plant parameters will provide conclusions of the fitness costs associated with ALS inhibitor resistance in P. annua. Chemical names: Foramsulfuron {1-(4,6-dimethoxypyrimidin-2-yl)-3-[2-(dimethylcarbamoyl)-5-formamidophenylsulfonyl] urea}.

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Francesco Di Gioia, Monica Ozores-Hampton, Jason Hong, Nancy Kokalis-Burelle, Joseph Albano, Xin Zhao, Zack Black, Zhifeng Gao, Chris Wilson, John Thomas, Kelly Moore, Marilyn Swisher, Haichao Guo and Erin N. Rosskopf

Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is considered a promising sustainable alternative to chemical soil fumigation (CSF), and has been shown to be effective against soilborne diseases, plant-parasitic nematodes, and weeds in several crop production systems. Nevertheless, limited information is available on the effects of ASD on crop yield and quality. Therefore, a field study was conducted on fresh-market tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) in two different locations in Florida (Immokalee and Citra), to evaluate and compare the ASD and CSF performances on weed and nematodes control, and on fruit yield and quality. In Immokalee, Pic-Clor 60 (1,3-dichloropropene + chloropicrin) was used as the CSF, whereas in Citra, the CSF was Paldin™ [dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) + chloropicrin]. Anaerobic soil disinfestation treatments were applied using a mix of composted poultry litter (CPL) at the rate of 22 Mg·ha−1, and two rates of molasses [13.9 (ASD1) and 27.7 m3·ha−1 (ASD2)] as a carbon (C) source. In both locations, soil subjected to ASD reached highly anaerobic conditions, and cumulative soil anaerobiosis was 167% and 116% higher in ASD2 plots than in ASD1 plots, in Immokalee and Citra, respectively. In Immokalee, the CSF provided the most significant weed control, but ASD treatments also suppressed weeds enough to prevent an impact on yield. In Citra, all treatments, including the CSF, provided poor weed control relative to the Immokalee site. In both locations, the application of ASD provided a level of root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne sp.) control equivalent to, or more effective than the CSF. In Immokalee, ASD2 and ASD1 plots provided 26.7% and 19.7% higher total marketable yield as compared with CSF plots, respectively. However, in Citra, total marketable yield was unaffected by soil treatments. Tomato fruit quality parameters were not influenced by soil treatments, except for fruit firmness in Immokalee, which was significantly higher in fruits from ASD treatments than in those from CSF soil. Fruit mineral content was similar or higher in ASD plots as compared with CSF. In fresh-market tomato, ASD applied using a mixture of CPL and molasses may be a sustainable alternative to CSF for maintaining or even improving marketable yield and fruit quality.