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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #410109

Research Project: Plant-associated Nematode Management and Systematics and USDA Nematode Collection Curation

Location: Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory

Title: Plant-parasitic nematode genera associated with turfgrass in Maryland golf courses and athletic fields

item SHAHOVEISI, FERESHTEH - University Of Maryland
item Waldo, Benjamin

Submitted to: Plant Pathology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/16/2024
Publication Date: 6/1/2024
Citation: Shahoveisi, F., Waldo, B.D. 2024. Plant-parasitic nematode genera associated with turfgrass in Maryland golf courses and athletic fields. Plant Pathology Journal. 40(3):272-281.

Interpretive Summary: Plant-parasitic nematodes are microscopic roundworms that can feed on turfgrass roots. They use a needle-like stylet to puncture root cells and ingest their contents for nourishment. Plant-parasitic nematode feeding can result in injured turfgrass roots and affect the health and quality of golf course greens and athletic fields. However not all plant-parasitic nematodes pose the same risks. In Maryland, little information is available about the types and densities of nematodes present and a survey was undertaken. Scientists found 13 different plant-parasitic nematode groups including a first report for the sting nematode in the state of Maryland. Twelve percent of the 39 sites had nematode densities above thresholds determined for New England turfgrass. The results of the study provide a baseline for future research on management practices for Maryland turfgrass in golf courses and athletic fields.

Technical Abstract: Field surveys were conducted to assess the occurrence and diversity of plant-parasitic nematodes (PPNs) in golf courses and athletic fields across Maryland during 2022 and 2023. A total of 39 facilities were surveyed, revealing the prevalence and abundance of 13 PPN taxa in the region. Criconemella was identified as the most prevalent (94.9%) and Tylenchorhynchus as the most abundant (2.3) across all samples. Central golf courses (west side of the Chesapeake Bay) exhibited a high prevalence of Criconemella and Tylenchorhynchus, while Eastern Shore golf courses and athletic fields displayed a higher prevalence of Helicotylenchus and Criconemella. Further, Belonolaimus longicaudatus was reported for the first time from turfgrass in Maryland, raising concerns due to its potential to cause severe damage on both cool- and warm-season turfgrass. Among the 78 collected samples, 12% had nematode densities higher than the established threshold for Northeast U.S. and half of those golf course greens represented symptoms including thinning and wilting, especially during heat stress conditions. Biodiversity analysis indicated the effects of different turfgrass management and geographical locations on the diversity of PPNs. Taxa richness (R2) was higher in athletic fields while diversity (H') and evenness (J') were significantly greater in golf courses. Differences in the diversity indices could be attributed to variations in turfgrass management intensities between the sectors and also sampling size. This study provides baseline information for monitoring PPN distribution in Maryland and also for the development of effective nematode management approaches in turfgrass ecosystems.