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Title: First report of dollar spot disease, caused by Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, of Agrostis stolonifera in Sweden

item ESPEVIG, TATSIANA - Norwegian Institute Of Bioeconomy Research(NIBIO)
item BRURBERG, MAY BENTE - Norwegian Institute Of Bioeconomy Research(NIBIO)
item USOLTESEVA, MARINA - Botaniska Analysgruppen
item DAHL, ASLOG - Botaniska Analysgruppen
item NORMANN, KARIN - Asbjørn Nyholt
item KVALBEIN, AGNAR - Norwegian Institute Of Bioeconomy Research(NIBIO)
item Crouch, Jo Anne

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/31/2017
Publication Date: 8/16/2017
Citation: Espevig, T., Brurberg, M., Usolteseva, M., Dahl, A., Normann, K., Kvalbein, A., Crouch, J. 2017. First report of dollar spot disease, caused by Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, of Agrostis stolonifera in Sweden. Crop Science. 57:S-349-S-353. https://doi:10.2135/cropsci2016.10.0835.

Interpretive Summary: Diseases affecting turfgrass on golf courses and lawns cause millions of dollars of damage globally each year. Of all turfgrass diseases, more money and effort is spent on dollar spot disease than any other, because it is widespread, persistent, and causes extensive damage to almost every type of grass. Until recently, dollar spot was not known in Scandinavian countries, possibly due to the region's unique climate. In this research we document the first known outbreak of dollar spot in Sweden, and provide characterization of the fungus that caused the disease. We found that the fungus had a DNA fingerprint that was identical to other dollar spot fungi that are widespread in the United States. Since the turfgrass industry in Scandinavian countries rarely uses chemical pesticides, dollar spot may prove very difficult to control in the region. This research will be used by turfgrass pathologists, agronomists, extension agents, and golf course managers working to define the risks and mitigate the effects of dollar spot disease in Scandinavia.

Technical Abstract: Dollar spot is a destructive and widespread disease affecting most grass species grown as turf, but until recently it has been absent from the Scandinavian countries of northern Europe. In the fall of 2014, disease symptoms consistent with dollar spot were observed on a golf course fairway in Sweden. A fungal isolate was made from symptomatic turf and identified as Sclerotinia homoeocarpa based on rDNA ITS sequences, morphology and culture characteristics. The ITS sequence was identical to isolates of S. homoeocarpa from the eastern and midwestern United States. Koch’s postulates were fulfilled, confirming the S. homoeocarpa isolate as the causal agent. This is the first report of turfgrass dollar spot in Sweden, and only the second report of the disease from Scandinavia. Because pesticides are rarely used in the cultivation of Scandinavian turfgrass, dollar spot disease may prove difficult to control through conventional means and potentially represents a major threat to the industry.