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S. Christopher Marble, Matthew T. Elmore and James T. Brosnan

Research was conducted to determine the tolerance of multiple native and ornamental grass species and one ornamental sedge species to over-the-top applications of the postemergence herbicide topramezone at three locations in the southeastern United States in 2016 and 2017. Fully rooted liners of selected grass species were outplanted into research plots in Apopka, FL; Dallas, TX; and Knoxville, TN in late spring, allowed time to establish (≈1–2 months) and then treated with two applications of topramezone at either 0.05 or 0.10 kg a.i./ha at 6–8 weeks intervals. Results showed that species including Andropogon virginicus (broomsedge), Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues’ (little bluestem), Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass), and Tripsacum floridanum (florida gamagrass) exhibited the greatest tolerance to topramezone with <10% injury to no injury being evident after each application of both herbicide rates tested. Chasmanthium latifolium (wild oats), Eragrostis elliottii ‘Wind Dancer’, Muhlenbergia capillaris (pink muhly), and Spartina bakeri (sandcord grass) were significantly injured (50% injury or greater) at both herbicide rates. Average injury observed on Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’ (red switchgrass) (ranging from 39% to 100% injury) and Sorghastrum nutans (indian grass) (ranging from 0% to 40% injury) was higher in Florida than in Tennessee (injury ranging from 23% to 43% on red switchgrass and 0% to 10% on indian grass). Similarly, Pennisetum alopecuroides (dwarf fountain grass) showed higher tolerance in Texas (ranging from 0% to 34% injury) compared with those observed in Tennessee (ranging from 0% to 53% injury). Topramezone injury to Carex appalachica (appalachian sedge) was ≤18% following two applications at both rates tested. Although no injury was observed in appalachian sedge following a single application up to 0.1 kg a.i. in Florida, plants succumbed to heat stress and accurate ratings could not be taken following the second application. Because of variability observed, tolerance of red switchgrass, indian grass, dwarf fountain grass, and appalachian sedge to applications of topramezone deserves further investigation. There is potential for future use of topramezone for control of certain grass and broadleaf weeds growing in and around certain ornamental grass species. However, as there was significant variability in tolerance based on species and differences in cultivars, testing a small group of plants before large-scale application would be recommended.

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Matthew T. Elmore, James A. Murphy and Bradley S. Park

Creeping bentgrass (CBG; Agrostis stolonifera L.) is a problematic weed of cool-season turfgrass. The herbicide mesotrione is often used for selective control, but CBG often recovers from sequential applications. Research evaluated the efficacy of mesotrione-based sequential application regimens for CBG control in kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) over a 2-year period. In two separate experiments, identical herbicide regimens were initiated in Oct. 2014 or May 2015 and then reapplied to the same plots in Oct. 2015 or May 2016, respectively. Regimens consisted of various sequential application regimens of mesotrione alone (totaling 560 g·ha–1 annually), three sequential applications of mesotrione (175 g·ha–1) tank-mixed with either triclopyr ester (560 or 1120 g·ha–1) or amicarbazone (50 or 100 g·ha–1), and topramezone (32 or 37 g·ha–1) tank-mixed with triclopyr ester (1120 g·ha–1). At the end of each 2-year experiment, the most effective treatments did not eliminate CBG completely. Among treatment regimens initiated in the fall, the most effective treatments reduced CBG cover 49% to 73% at the conclusion of the experiment in Oct. 2016. At the conclusion of the spring experiment in May 2017, the most effective treatments reduced CBG cover 66% to 94%. Topramezone + triclopyr tank mixtures were less effective than mesotrione-containing treatments on most dates. Mesotrione + amicarbazone tank mixtures reduced CBG more effectively than mesotrione alone, but these tank mixtures also caused severe kentucky bluegrass injury. CBG cover reductions from mesotrione + triclopyr tank mixtures and mesotrione alone were generally similar. Among mesotrione-only regimens, there were no consistent differences in CBG cover reduction. This research indicates that turf managers using a selective herbicide regimen to control CBG in kentucky bluegrass should apply mesotrione at the maximum annual use rate (560 g·ha–1) in two to four sequential applications at 2- to 3-week intervals.

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James T. Brosnan, Dean A. Kopsell, Matthew T. Elmore, Gregory K. Breeden and Gregory R. Armel

Mesotrione, topramezone, and tembotrione are inhibitors of the enzyme p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD), which impacts the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway. An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of mesotrione, topramezone, and tembotrione on carotenoid pigment concentrations in common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.; cv. Riviera] leaf tissues. Bermudagrass plants were treated with three rates of mesotrione (0.28, 0.35, and 0.42 kg·ha−1), topramezone (0.018, 0.025, and 0.038 kg·ha−1), and tembotrione (0.092, 0.184, and 0.276 kg·ha−1). The lowest rate of each herbicide represented the maximum labeled use rate for a single application. Percent visual bleaching was measured at 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after application (DAA). Leaf tissues were sampled on the same dates and assayed for carotenoids. Topramezone and tembotrione bleached bermudagrass leaf tissues to a greater degree than mesotrione. Concomitantly, topramezone and tembotrione also reduced total chlorophyll (chlorophyll a + b), β-carotene, lutein, and total xanthophyll cycle pigment concentrations (zeaxanthin + antheraxanthin + violaxanthin) more than mesotrione. Increases in visual bleaching resulting from application rate were accompanied by linear reductions in lutein, β-carotene, and violaxanthin for all herbicides. Topramezone and tembotrione increased the percentage of zeaxanthin + antheraxanthin in the total xanthophyll pigment pool (ZA/ZAV) 7 days after peak visual bleaching was observed at 14 DAA. Reductions in ZA/ZAV were reported after 21 DAA. This response indicates that sequential applications of topramezone and tembotrione should be applied on 14- to 21-day intervals, because stress induced by these herbicides is greatest at these timings. Increases in photoprotective xanthophyll cycle pigments (ZA/ZAV) at 14 to 21 DAA may be a mechanism allowing bermudagrass to recover from HPPD-inhibiting herbicide injury, because bermudagrass recovered from all treatments by 35 DAA. Data in the current study will allow turf managers to design physiologically validated bermudagrass control programs with HPPD-inhibiting herbicides. Chemical names: mesotrione [2-(4-methysulfonyl-2-nitrobenzoyl)-1,3-cyclohexanedione], tembotrione {2-[2-chloro-4-(methylsulfonyl)-3-[(2,2,2-(trifluoroethoxy)methyl]benzoyl]-1,3-cyclohexanedione}, topramezone {[3-(4,5-dihydro-3-isoxazolyl)-2-methyl-4-(methylsulfonyl)phenyl](5-hydroxy-1-nethyl-1H-pyrazol-4-yl)methanone}.