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Interesting Winter Disease in the Midwest

Happy belated New Year to everyone! I wanted to thank John for the wonderful birthday post! What a great photo and yes it has been cold enough here to warrant hair on every millimeter of skin! Although the winter in the Midwest has not been as abnormally cold when compared to other parts of the country, we have had some extended periods of extreme cold and snow cover since December 9th. South of I-80 there is not as much snow on ground as areas north of I-80. So there is not a lot to talk about in the Upper Midwest, except that ice damage could likely be an issue this year. Why? We haven't completely lost snow cover, but we have had some melting that has probably lead to ice formation underneath the snow. So you may want to keep an eye on areas that are prone to ice damage.

Besides letting everyone know that I am still alive, I wanted to post something that I thought was pretty unusual. Dr. Derek Settle with CDGA sent me the image attached to this post. The symptoms were necrosis of the leaf tissue atypical of gray snow mold or Microdochium patch plant and stand symptoms. Dr. Settle examined the affected leaf tissue and surprisingly found a bunch of oospores in the mesophyll cells (sexual spores of Pythium species). Dr. Settle then successfully isolated Pythium out of the affected tissue and sent the isolates to me for identification. I just got the isolates last week and I have not identified them yet, but I do know that it is a Pythium species.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't skeptical of Dr. Settle's diagnosis. I was not a believer in cool-season Pythium diseases in turfgrass, but it appears I have seen light!

I wanted to post an update on some of research that Paul Koch is conducting, but we have not analyzed the new data yet. I will post the most up to date results on fungicide degradation during winter months next week or the following week.

One response to “Interesting Winter Disease in the Midwest”

Frank Wong said...

Interesting....We're seeing more cool season Pythiums from the West Coast than we had before. I'll comment on that one in my post.

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