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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 71 No. 4, p. 553-555
    Received: June 12, 1978

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Influence of Nutrition on Stripe Smut Severity in Kentucky Bluegrass Turf1

  1. R. J. Hull,
  2. N. Jackson and
  3. C. R. Skogley2



Stripe smut, caused by the fungus Ustilago striiformis (West.) Niessl., is highly destructive to several fine turf cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). while there is evidence that turf management practices can modify disease injury, the role of nutrient status in disease development is uncertain. Stri e smut seventy and fertility management was studiecf using ‘Merion’ Kentucky bluegrass plots fertilized with four nutrient combinations (N:O:O, N:P:O, N:O:K, and N:P:K) applied at three rates (12:2:4, 24:4:8, and 48:8:16 g N, P, and K per m2 per year). A natural infection of stripe smut occurred throughout the plot area in 1972 and persisted through 1975. After infection, a close correlation between turf quality and disease incidence was noted. Heavily infected plots, as indicated by disease scores and counts of infected tillers, were those fertilized at high rates with incomplete fertilizers. Grass receiving high rates of N-P-K fertilizer was less diseased than that receiving high N alone or N plus P or K. Tiller counts revealed stand thinning in all plots as the disease continued but low fertility plots contained more plants than heavily fertilized plots. Stripe smut severity in susceptible Kentucky bluegrass cultivars is influenced by fertility level and balance.

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