Inhibition of Pythium spp. and Suppression of Pythium Blight of Turfgrasses with Phosphonate Fungicides

Plant Dis. 2009 Aug;93(8):809-814. doi: 10.1094/PDIS-93-8-0809.


Pythium aphanidermatum and other Pythium spp. cause Pythium blight of turfgrasses in the United States. Phosphonate fungicides suppress Pythium blight when applied preventatively, but efficacy may vary with product, rate and timing of application, and host species. The objectives of this study were to assess the inhibitory effects of phosphorous acid on Pythium spp. in vitro, and determine if active ingredient and formulation of phosphonate fungicides provide similar levels of Pythium blight suppression on perennial ryegrass and creeping bentgrass when applied at equivalent rates of phosphorous acid. Phosphorous acid EC50 values (effective concentration that reduces mycelial growth by 50%) for P. aphanidermatum isolates ranged from 35.6 to 171.8 μg/ml. EC50 values for isolates of six other Pythium spp. were between 38.7 and 220.8 μg/ml. In 2004 and 2005, all phosphonate treatments provided significant suppression of Pythium blight symptoms on creeping bentgrass and perennial ryegrass relative to the untreated control. No differences in percentage of blighted turf occurred among phosphonate treatments when applied at equivalent rates of phosphorous acid in either year of the study, regardless of active ingredient, formulation, or turfgrass species.