University of Delaware researches new treatment for dollar spot

Dollar spot (Photo: PBI-Gordon Corp.)
Be on the lookout Disease models help predict dollar spot before symptoms make themselves known (Photo: PBI-Gordon Corp.)

The University of Delaware studied UD1022, a UD-developed beneficial microbe, and an antifungal treatment for dollar spot disease in turfgrasses.

This is part of a research project with the University of Delaware and Penn State University to explore more eco-friendly biological solutions to dollar spot. The research team recently published a paper in Biological Control, showing UD1022 may protect turfgrass from dollar spot.

“This isn’t going to be a product that completely solves every problem or controls dollar spot completely,” said Erik Ervin, professor and chair in plant and soil sciences at the University of Delaware. “But it’s another part of the toolset that is biological, rather than a pesticide, to get closer to more sustainable management.”

UD1022 is a unique strain of Bacillus subtilis, a beneficial bacterium that lives on the surface of plants’ roots and the surrounding soil, or rhizosphere. Known as a growth promoter that can help plants flourish, UD researchers have demonstrated UD1022 also protects plants against microscopic disease agents. It also can act as a biofungicide.

Researchers from UD analyzed the antifungal properties of UD1022 against Clarireedia jacksonii, the fungus that causes dollar spot, in laboratory experiments. The research team said UD1022 forms biofilms that serve as a protection measure or colonize hosts.

The research team plans to continue further studies on the findings.

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