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Jack D. Fry

A field study was conducted in southern Louisiana to screen several plant growth regulators (PGRs) for efficacy in suppressing centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.] vegetative growth and seedhead production. PGRs were applied in three sequential treatments in 1988 and included ethephon, glyphosate, mefluidide, paclobutrazol, sethoxydim, and sulfometuron methyl. Ethephon (5.0 kg·ha-1) suppressed mean centipedegrass vegetative growth by 15% with no turf injury. Mefluidide (0.6 kg·ha-1) and ethephon reduced mean seedhead number by 55% and 61%, respectively. Glyphosate (0.6 kg·ha-1) suppressed vegetative and reproductive growth, but caused unacceptable phytotoxicity and reduced centipedegrass cover and quality during Spring 1989. Use of ethephon or mefluidide to reduce trimming requirements or mower operation in hazardous areas may be an effective means of inhibiting centipedegrass growth. Chemical names used: N -(phosphonomethyl) glycine (glyphosate); N -[2,4-dimethyl-5-[[(trifluromethyl) sulfonyl]amino] phenyl]acetimide (mefluidide); 2-[1-(ethoxyimino)butyl] -5[2-(ethylthio) propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cycIohexen-l-one (sethoxy-dim); 2-[[[[(4,6-dimethyl-2 -pyrimidinyl) amino] carbonyl]amino] sulfonyl]benzoic acid (sulfometuron methyl); (2-chloroethyl) phosphoric acid (ethephon); (±)-(R*R*)β-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α-(l,l-dimethylethyl) -1 H -l,2,4-triazole-l-ethanol (paclobutrazol).

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Yaling Qian and Jack D. Fry

Greenhouse studies were conducted on three warm-season turfgrasses, `Midlawn' bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. × C. transvaalensis Burtt-Davy], `Prairie' buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.], and `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.), and a cool-season turfgrass, `Mustang' tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) to determine 1) water relations and drought tolerance characteristics by subjecting container-grown grasses to drought and 2) potential relationships between osmotic adjustment (OA) and turf recovery after severe drought. Tall fescue was clipped at 6.3 cm once weekly, whereas warm-season grasses were clipped at 4.5 cm twice weekly. The threshold volumetric soil water content (SWC) at which a sharp decline in leaf water potential (ψL) occurred was higher for tall fescue than for warm-season grasses. Buffalograss exhibited the lowest and tall fescue exhibited the highest reduction in leaf pressure potential (ψP) per unit decline in ψL during dry down. Ranking of grasses for magnitude of OA was buffalograss (0.84 MPa) = zoysiagrass (0.77 MPa) > bermudagrass (0.60 MPa) > tall fescue (0.34 MPa). Grass coverage 2 weeks after irrigation was resumed was correlated positively with magnitude of OA (r = 0.66, P < 0.05).

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Jack Fry, Ward Upham, and Larry Leuthold

Field studies were conducted in consecutive years to evaluate the influence of seeding month and seed soaking on buffalograss [Buchloë ductyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] establishment, as measured by percentage of coverage and seedling emergence. In 1991, plots where `Sharp's Improved' buffalograss burrs were seeded in May, June, or July exhibited complete coverage 7 weeks after seeding (WAS). Between Apr. and Sept. 1992, mean high and low temperatures were ≈ 3C cooler than in 1991, and seeding in June or July resulted in >95% coverage 9 WAS. In the same year, seeding in April or May required 12 to 13 weeks for complete coverage. Buffalograss seeded in August exhibited <25% coverage by the end of the first growing season. Soaking buffalograss burrs in water before seeding resulted in the emergence of >30% more seedlings 2 WAS compared with nonsoaked burrs and increased coverage by up to 18% on selected rating dates 3 to 13 WAS. However, complete coverage occurred only ≈ week sooner where soaked vs. nonsoaked burrs were planted.

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Bingru Huang, Jack Fry, and Bin Wang

Understanding factors associated with drought resistance and recovery from drought stress in tall fescue (Festuca arundinaces Schreb.) is important for developing resistant cultivars and effective management strategies. Our objective was to investigate water relations, photosynthetic efficiency, and canopy characteristics of tall fescue cultivars (forage-type `Kentucky-31', turf-type `Mustang', and dwarf-type `MIC18') in responses to drought stress and subsequent recovery in the field and greenhouse. During drought stress under field conditions, `MIC18' had lower turf quality, more severe leaf wilting, and higher canopy temperature than `Mustang' and `Kentucky-31', indicating that `MIC18' was more drought-sensitive. The greenhouse study comparing `K-31' and `MIC18' showed that leaf water status, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy green leaf biomass, and lead area index of both cultivars declined as soil dried. Reductions in relative water content, leaf water potential, chlorophyll fluorescence, canopy green leaf biomass, and leaf area index were more severe and occurred sooner during dry down for `MIC18' than for `Kentucky-31'. After rewatering following 14 days of stress, leaf water deficit and turf growth recovered, to a greater degree for `Kentucky-31' than for `MIC18'. However, soil drying for 21 days caused long-term negative effects on leaf photosynthetic efficiency and canopy characteristics for both cultivars.

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Jack D. Fry and Raymond A. Cloyd

Zoysiagrass, in general, has few insect pest problems but may suffer significant damage from infestations of the bluegrass billbug (Sphenophorus parvulus Gyllenhal). This study evaluated ‘Meyer’ and DALZ 0102 zoysiagrass (both Zoysia japonica Steud.) and 31 experimental zoysiagrass progeny, including reciprocal crosses between Z. japonica × Z. matrella (L.) Merr. or crosses between ‘Emerald’ (Z. japonica × Z. pacifica Goudsw.) × Z. japonica. These grasses were evaluated in adjacent experiments with 18 progeny in one and 13 in another. Plots were maintained under golf course fairway conditions and experienced natural infestations of the bluegrass billbug in 2009 and 2010 with larval damage primarily evident in June and continuing throughout the remainder of the growing season. ‘Meyer’ suffered the highest level of damage on each of six rating dates, ranging from 17% to 38% of the experimental plot area affected. Among the zoysiagrass progeny, damage ranged from 0% to 35% with most showing less than 15% damage. Overall, zoysiagrass progeny associated with reciprocal crosses of Z. japonica × Z. matrella or ‘Emerald’ × Z. japonica were less susceptible to bluegrass billbug than ‘Meyer’.

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Jinmin Fu, Bingru Huang, and Jack Fry

Effects of deficit irrigation applied to home lawns, used as means of water conservation, are an important issue. However, the impact of deficit irrigation on sucrose metabolism in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is unknown and important because sucrose is the dominant form of carbohydrate transported to developing plant organs. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of deficit irrigation on leaf water content, osmotic potential (ψS), sucrose level, and the activity of sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS; EC, sucrose synthase (SS; EC, and acid invertase (AI; EC in tall fescue leaves. Sods of ‘Falcon II’ tall fescue were established in polyvinylchloride (PVC) tubes (10 cm diameter × 40 cm long) filled with a mixture of sand and fritted clay [9:1 (v:v)] and then placed in growth chambers. Reference evapotranspiration rate [ETo (millimeters of water per day)] was determined by weighing the PVC tubes containing well-watered turfgrass every 3 days to determine water loss on a daily basis as ETo. Deficit irrigation treatments were applied as follows: well-watered control, mild drought stress (60% ETo), and severe drought stress (20% ETo). Leaf water content was lower at 6, 12, and 20 days of treatment for the 20% ETo treatment and 20 days after treatment began for the 60% ETo treatment. Compared with the well-watered control, ψS was lower in the 60% ETo treatment on all three measurement dates. Sucrose was higher at 8 and 14 days after treatment began in the 60% ETo treatment and on all three measurement dates in the 20% ETo treatment relative to the well-watered control. No difference in sucrose level was observed between the 20% ETo and 60% ETo irrigation regimes at 8 and 14 days of treatment. Beginning 14 days after treatment, tall fescue had a higher level of SPS in the 60% ETo and 20% ETo treatments compared with the well-watered treatment. Tall fescue receiving 60% or 20% ETo had a lower level of AI activity on all measurement dates. Results suggest that the decrease in ψS was accompanied by higher sucrose levels, which were the result of the increased level of SPS and SS activity and a decline in AI activity.

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Alan J. Zuk and Jack D. Fry

Establishment of seeded `Zenith' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) in an existing sward of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) is difficult, and chemicals arising from perennial ryegrass leaf and root tissue may contribute to establishment failure. Experiments were done to evaluate zoysiagrass emergence and growth in soil amended with perennial ryegrass leaves or roots, or after irrigation with water in which perennial ryegrass leaves or roots had previously been soaked. Compared to unamended soil, soil amended with perennial ryegrass leaves at 12% and 23% by weight reduced zoysiagrass seedling number 20% and 26%, respectively; root area and mass were reduced 50% when amendments comprised 12% of soil weight. Similar reductions in zoysiagrass seedling emergence and growth were observed in a second soil amendment study, regardless of whether perennial ryegrass was treated with glyphosate or not. Soil mixed with perennial ryegrass leaves, but not roots, at 12% by weight had a high soil conductivity (5.1 dS·m–1), which could have contributed to reduced zoysiagrass emergence and growth. More than 50% fewer zoysiagrass seedlings emerged and root mass was up to 65% lower when irrigated with water in which perennial ryegrass leaves or roots at 5, 10, or 20 g·L–1 were previously soaked for 48 hours. Zoysiagrass leaf area, and root length and area, were also lower when irrigated with water previously containing perennial ryegrass roots. Perennial ryegrass leaves and roots have the capacity to inhibit emergence and growth of `Zenith' zoysiagrass seedlings, which could negatively affect stand establishment.

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Jack D. Fry and Ward S. Upham

In 1992 and 1993, 12 postemergence herbicide treatments were applied to field-grown buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] seedlings having 1 to 3 leaves and 2 to 4 tillers, respectively. The only herbicide treatments that did not cause plant injury at 1 or 2 weeks after treatment (WAT) or reduce turf coverage 4 or 6 WAT compared to nontreated plots (in 1992 or 1993) were (in kg·ha–1) 0.6 dithiopyr, 0.8 quinclorac, 2.2 MSMA, and 0.8 clorpyralid. Evaluated only in 1993, metsulfuron methyl (0.04 kg·ha–1) also caused no plant injury or reduction in coverage. Fenoxaprop-ethyl (0.2 kg·ha–1) caused severe plant injury and reduced coverage by >95% at 6 WAT. Dicamba reduced coverage by 11% at 6 WAT in 1992 but not 1993. The chemicals (in kg·ha–1) triclopyr (0.6), 2,4-D (0.8), triclopyr (1.1) + 2,4-D (2.8), 2,4-D (3.1) + triclopyr (0.3) + clorpyralid (0.2), and 2,4-D (2.0) + mecoprop (1.1) + dicamba (0.2) caused plant injury at 1 or 2 WAT in 1992 or 1993, but coverage was similar to that of nontreated turf by 6 WAT. Chemical names used: 3,6-dichloro-2-pyridinecarboxylic acid (clorpyralid); 3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid (dicamba); (+/–)-2-[4-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)phenoxy]propanoic acid (diclofop); 3,5-pyridinedicarbothioic acid, 2-(difluoromethyl)-4-(2-methylpropyl)-6-(trifluoromethyl)-S,S-dimethyl ester (dithiopyr); 2-[4-[(6-chloro-2-benzoxazolyl)oxy]phenoxy] propanoate (fenoxaprop-ethyl); 2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)propionic acid (mecoprop); methyl 2-[[[[(4-methoxy-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazin-2-yl)-amino]carbonyl]amino]sulfonyl]benzoate (metsulfuron methyl); monosodium salt of methylarsonic acid (MSMA); 3,7-dichloro-8-quinolinecarboxylic acid (quinclorac); [(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy] acetic acid (triclopyr); (2,4-dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid (2,4-D).

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Joon Lee, Jack Fry, and Ned Tisserat

There is interest in identifying cultural practices that may reduce fungicide requirements of creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) putting greens. Our objective was to evaluate the plant defense activator ASM in combination with 12 biostimulants for the potential to reduce dollar spot (Sclerotinia homoeocarpa F.T. Bennett) and brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn) in a blend of `Cato: `Crenshaw creeping bentgrass during 2000 and 2001. The experimental design was a split-plot with ASM as the whole plot, and biostimulants as the subplots. ASM was applied biweekly as a.i. at 35 g·ha-1 and biostimulants were applied according to manufacturers recommendations. Sclerotinia homoeocarpa infection centers were reduced by 38% with ASM, but levels were >1500/m2 in Aug. 2000, and turf quality was unacceptable through most of the study period. No suppression of brown patch occurred with ASM. None of the biostimulants reduced dollar spot or brown patch in creeping bentgrass when compared to biweekly applications of soluble N at 4.9 kg·ha-1. Dollar spot suppression achieved with ASM warrants additional studies to determine how it might be used to reduce fungicide inputs on creeping bentgrass putting greens. Chemical name used: acibenzolar-S-methyl (ASM).