Turf Pathology/Breeding Laboratory
Department of Plant, Soil & Insect Sciences
100 French Hall
230 Stockbridge Rd.
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
Phone: (413) 577-3303
Dollar Spot Fungicide Resistance Assay
Areas of intensively managed turf each have a unique Sclerotinia homoeocarpa population structure with differing levels of fungicide resistance depending on environmental conditions, cultural management, and history of fungicide uses at that site. Repeated applications of the same class of fungicide to an area of turf will encourage fungicide resistance development in the fungi being treated. If your spray equipment is in good condition, fungicides are properly stored and applied, yet you are still suffering from unacceptable amounts of dollar spot control, you may have a fungicide resistance problem. The fungicide sensitivity assay is an extension service for superintendants and home lawn owners with difficulty controlling dollar spot. The assay is conducted at the UMASS Turf Pathology lab using all commonly used fungicide classes to test levels of fungicide resistance to each. Results of the assay give clients a holistic understanding of their dollar spot populations along with effective cultural and chemical control options, saving some thousands of dollars in misapplications of chemicals to dollar spot populations with fungicide resistance.
When an outbreak of dollar spot occurs, contact us to schedule a time for sample collection. Members of the Turf Pathology Lab will collect 50 individual leaf blades exhibiting dollar spot symptoms. Areas of turf with active dollar spot infection centers that are under different chemical management regimes such as fairways, tees, and greens will each be assayed separately. Samples are brought back to the laboratory at UMASS and tested for resistance to the following fungicide classes: benzimidazole (thiophanate-methyl), demethylation inhibitor (propiconazole), dicarboximide (vinclozolin) and succinate dehydrogenase inhibitor (boscalid). A report of the results including recommendations for improved chemical and cultural practices to control dollar spot in each location tested will be submitted within two weeks of sampling.
Each assay of 50 isolates costs
Fungicide and Product Trials
As a service to the turfgrass industry, the UMASS Turf Pathology lab conducts field trials throughout New England to test the efficacy of fungicides and other turf products in controlling various summer and winter diseases. For cost information contact us.
Products will be tested for field efficacy on a Poa annua / Agrostis stolonifera putting green. The experimental plot will be located on a golf course practice green. Fungicide applications will begin late May on a preventative basis. Weekly ratings of % disease cover and photographs will be taken at each rating date. Bi-weekly turf quality and phytotoxicity ratings will also take place. Due to space limitations, plot size will most likely be 3 x 4 ft with 3 replications.
Fungicides and other products are tested for their field efficacy on a colonial bentgrass fairway beginning in June when night time temperatures reach 65°F and ending in mid to late August. Applications are made over a two month interval depending on disease pressure and company requests. Weekly ratings of % disease cover and phytotoxicity take place and photographs of each plot are taken at each rating. The trial takes place at the Joseph Troll Research Center in South Deerfield, MA and includes 3 replications of 3 x 6 ft plots per treatment.
Two dollar spot field trials are conducted: one on a confirmed Demethylation Inhibitor (DMI) and Benzimidazole (BM) resistant population, and one on a confirmed DMI and BM sensitive population. The objective of this trial is to test fungicide treatments and other products for field efficacy at two sites with highly contrasting fungicide sensitivities. Applications are made depending on disease pressure and company requests. We conduct weekly ratings of infection centers, phytotoxicity, turf quality, and photograph each plot. The trial takes place at the Joseph Troll Research Center in South Deerfield,MA and at a golf course nearby with confirmed BM and DMI resistance. It includes 3 replications of 3 x 6 ft plots per treatment.
A test plot of Perennial Rye is planted mid-June and the trial will begin the first week in July to test field efficacy of a variety of fungicide treatments and other products on Pythium. Applications are made depending on disease pressure and company requests. Weekly ratings of % disease cover and phytotoxicity take place and photographs of each plot are taken at each rating. The trial takes place at the Joseph Troll Research Center in South Deerfield, MA and includes 3 replications of 3 x 6 ft plots per treatment.
Field trials are conducted at four locations throughout New England to test field efficacy of various products used to control snow mold under differing levels of disease pressure and species causing disease. The purpose of this trial is to evaluate fungicides and other products for the control of Typhula blight (caused by Typhula ishikariensis and T. incarnata) and pink snow mold (caused by Microdochium nivale) on typical fairways maintained at 0.5-inch mowing height. Products are applied in late November before snow fall and % disease rating of plots as well as measurements of phytotoxicity are made in Spring right after snow melt. Photos of each plot are taken and a book of research results is published in the Spring.
We offer site visits for home owners and golf courses to provide a more hands on approach to diagnosis of diseases and other common turf related problems. Many problems cannot be properly identified without laboratory diagnosis, therefore, a site visit is best accompanied by a laboratory report from a turf sample sent to the UMASS Diagnostic Lab. To schedule a site visit, contact us.
Cost: $300/visit plus mileages for site visit and written report
We provide fee-based services on DNA genotyping/fingerprinting of turfgrass using molecular markers. It is very difficult to differentiate cultivars within the same species or in a blend (for example, cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass or Bermudagrass) by looking at seeds or turf stands. Therefore, DNA fingerprinting will make it possible to accurately identify cultivars. DNA fingerprinting can be applied for:
- Seed Purity
- Seed or clonal cultivar identity
- Cultivar identification within a blend
- Off-types in sod or vegetative cultivars
DNA fingerprinting services have been used by forensic scientists in golf course theft cases. In one instance, the grass cultivar identified on the wheels of a stolen vehicle was traced back to the course from which the vehicle was stolen from! For more information on sample submission and cost, contact us.
DNA fingerprinting of bermudagrass cultivars