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Influence of Temperature and Time of Year on Colonization of Bermudagrass Roots by Ophiosphaerella herpotricha

    Affiliations
    Authors and Affiliations
    • N. R. Walker , Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078
    • T. K. Mitchell , Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695
    • A. N. Morton
    • S. M. Marek , Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater 74078

      Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1094/PD-90-1326

      The influence of temperature on the infection of bermudagrass seedlings by Ophiosphaerella herpotricha and colonization of plants in the field was investigated. Bermudagrass seedlings (cv. Jackpot) inoculated with O. herpotricha exhibited dark lesions after 8 days. Root lesion length was greatest at 17°C and was similar for all temperatures examined below 21°C. Seedlings grown at 25 or 30°C had small lesions that remained similar in size when evaluated at 8 and 10 days post inoculation. Colonization of bermudagrass roots from field plots were examined in July, October, and November of 2003 and 2004. In 2003, no differences between sampling dates were observed for plants sampled from the edge of the spring patch in 5.4-cm increments to a total distance of 21.6 cm. In 2004, July and October samples were similar; however, an increase in root colonization was found between the October and November samplings. These studies suggest that infection and colonization of bermudagrass roots by O. herpotricha occurs over a wide range of cool soil temperatures, occurs in the spring, and can be variable in the autumn.