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Glenn A. Hardebeck, Ronald F. Turco, Richard Latin, and Zachary J. Reicher

Pseudomonas aureofaciens strain Tx-1 is suggested as a biological control for Sclerotinia homoeocarpa (F.T. Bennett) and brown patch (Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn) on golf courses. To overcome application difficulties, a field bioreactor is used to grow Tx-1 daily and then inject into nightly irrigation on the golf course. Though Tx-1 shows some promise for disease control in vitro, it is relatively untested under field conditions. We conducted three field experiments to 1) evaluate the efficacy Tx-1 when applied through an irrigation system for the control of dollar spot and brown patch; 2) determine if there is an interaction between nitrogen fertility or fungicides on efficacy of Tx-1; and 3) determine if Tx-1 can extend the duration of dollar spot control by a single application of fungicide. Nightly applications of Tx-1 through irrigation did not affect brown patch on `Astoria' colonial bentgrass (Agrostis capillaris Sibth.) during the 2 years of our study. Tx-1 reduced dollar spot in `Crenshaw' creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris Huds.) by 37% in 1998 compared to non-Tx-1 treatments, but Tx-1 had no effect on dollar spot in 1999. Under low disease pressure, Tx-1 increased the dollar spot control of fungicides by 32% and increased the duration of control by 2.6 days. However, Tx-1 had no effect on fungicide efficacy or duration of control later in the summer when dollar spot pressure was high. Fungicides did not negatively affect Tx-1's control of brown patch or dollar spot, nor did fertilizer regime affect brown patch or dollar spot control by Tx-1. Although delivery of Tx-1 in our studies was optimized, disease control was marginal and occurred only under low disease pressure. Therefore, we conclude Tx-1 has limited practical value for turfgrass disease control on golf courses.