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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 47 No. 1, p. 239-244
    Received: Dec 29, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): rpratt@ars.usda.gov
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Forage Bermudagrass Cultivar Responses to Inoculations with Exserohilum rostratum and Bipolaris spicifera and Relationships to Field Persistence

  1. R. G. Pratt *a and
  2. G. E. Brinkb
  1. a USDA-ARS, Crop Sci. Res. Lab., Waste Management and Forage Res. Unit, P.O. Box 5367, Mississippi State, MS 39762
    b USDA-ARS, U.S. Dairy Forage Res. Center, Madison, WI 53706-1108


In the southeastern USA, bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is a principal species to which animal wastes are applied for nutrient removal. Diseases caused by Exserohilum, Bipolaris, and Curvularia spp. may limit its effectiveness for this purpose. This study evaluated responses of seven forage bermudagrass cultivars (Alicia, Brazos, Coastal, Common, Russell, Tifton 44, and Tifton 85) to two pathogens, E. rostratum (Drechs.) Leonard & Suggs and B. spicifera (Bain) Subram., and persistence of cultivars with natural infection in the field. All cultivars were susceptible to both pathogens with foliar inoculations, but differed in degrees of susceptibility. Alicia was highly susceptible to both pathogens. Coastal was least susceptible to B. spicifera, but no cultivar was consistently least susceptible to E. rostratum Persistence of cultivars for up to 1 yr in the field differed and appeared related to both sod density and susceptibility to pathogens. Dense sods appeared to enable cultivars to generate more top growth and compensate for disease losses. Common, Coastal, and Tifton 44 bermudagrasses were most persistent in the field; Tifton 85 and Alicia were least persistent. Results indicate that resistance to dematiaceous hyphomycetous pathogens, along with a strong sod-forming ability, is desirable in forage bermudagrass cultivars to sustain their persistence and productivity on animal waste application sites.

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