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Occurrence and Molecular Identification of Azoxystrobin-Resistant Colletotrichum cereale Isolates from Golf Course Putting Greens in the Southern United States

    Authors and Affiliations
    • Joseph R. Young , former graduate research assistant, Mississippi State University, currently Department of Horticulture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701
    • Maria Tomaso-Peterson , Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State 39762
    • Lane P. Tredway , Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695
    • Karla de la Cerda , Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario, N1G2W1 Canada

      Published Online:

      Turfgrass anthracnose, caused by Colletotrichum cereale (≡C. graminicola), has become a common disease of creeping bentgrass and annual bluegrass putting greens throughout the southern United States. Strobilurin (QoI) fungicides such as azoxystrobin are single-site mode-of-action fungicides applied to control C. cereale. In vitro bioassays with azoxystrobin at 0.031 and 8 μg/ml incorporated into agar were performed to evaluate the sensitivity of 175 isolates collected from symptomatic turfgrasses in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Three sensitivity levels were identified among C. cereale isolates. Resistant, intermediately resistant, and sensitive isolates were characterized by percent relative growth based on the controls with means of 81, 23, and 4%, respectively, on media containing azoxystrobin at 8 μg/ml. The molecular mechanism of resistance was determined by comparing amino acid sequences of the cytochrome b protein. Compared with sensitive isolates, C. cereale isolates exhibiting QoI resistance had a G143A substitution, whereas isolates expressing intermediate resistance had a F129L substitution. C. cereale isolates displaying azoxystrobin resistance in vitro were not controlled by QoI fungicides in a field evaluation. The dominance of QoI-resistant C. cereale isolates identified in this study indicates a shift to resistant populations on highly managed golf course putting greens.