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Leaf spot look-a-likes

A brief reminder to practitioners and agronomists that there are other late-summer leaf spot diseases of perennial ryegrass besides grey leaf spot. I recently observed a case in central PA in which a landscaper suspected grey leaf spot was taking out his newly-seeded perennial ryegrass. In fact, the disease turned out to be a different leaf spot disease. The spores appeared similar to descriptions of Drechslera siccans. For the record…..I was fooled as well. I could have sworn it was gray leaf spot when I looked at the turf in the field. When garden-variety leaf spot diseases get rolling on susceptible hosts during extended periods of high humidity, they can resemble early stage symptoms of grey leaf spot. Some common leaf spot diseases of perennial ryegrass include net blotch and leaf blight (Pyrenophora dictyoides (sometimes referred to as Drechslera dictyoides); Leaf spot, leaf blight, and foot rot (Drechslera siccans), and leaf blight and crown rot (Drechslera catenaria). Only your diagnostician….using a microscope…..knows for sure. For riveting reading, see the chapter on Leaf spots, leaf blights, and crown rots in Fungal Diseases of Amenity Turf Grasses by Smith et al. (1989 edition).

One response to “Leaf spot look-a-likes”

Leah A. Brilman said...

Wait. I do not see Pete as a funny picture on the top. Great comment on the leaf spots. Too often people assume they know what a disease is and we end up with the wrong treatments.

I agree with Megan. Some of the dogs I meet on golf courses are the best.

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