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Crop Science Abstract -

Retention of Resistance by Mutants of ‘Floratam’ St. Augustinegrass to the Southern Chinch Bug and St. Augustine Decline1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 21 No. 3, p. 464-466
    Received: Mar 26, 1980

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  1. James A. Reinert2,
  2. R. W. Toler3,
  3. B. D. Bruton4 and
  4. P. Busey2



St. Augustinegrass, Stenotaphrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze, a widely used turfgrass in the southern coastal states, has two major limiting pests, southern chinch bug, Blissus insularis Barbar, and St. Augustine decline strain of Panicum mosaic virus. Gamma-rayderived mutants of ‘Floratam,’ a very coarse cultivar which is resistant to both pests, were evaluated for stability of resistance and turf characteristics. All mutants retained resistance to PMV-SAD and all except #14 caused higher antibiosis to the confined bugs than the susceptible ‘Florida Common’ St. Augustinegrass (22%). Mutant #6 produced 76% mortality of the confined southern chinch bugs at 7 days which was significantly greater than the mortality produced by four of the other mutants. However, none of the mutants was significantly more resistant than Floratam (65% mortality). Egg deposition was significantly less on Floratam and all mutants (from 4 to 13 eggs/stolon) than on the Florida Common (average of 23 eggs/stolon). One of the mutants had a faster rate of establishment and all mutants had shorter internodes than Floratam, all were immune to PMV-SAD, and only one had lost its southern chinch bug resistance.

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