Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Battle Cold Weather Mold

Date:
March 8, 2002
Source:
American Phytopathological Society
Summary:
It’s the last thing golf course managers want to see, but after winter snows have receded it can be all too common. Dead grass. Usually caused by fungi, called snow molds. The molds not only turn golf courses from green to brown, but often are responsible for the destruction of other valued plants as well, including winter wheat and evergreen trees. Scientists have recently discovered however, that by pitting one fungus against another, in a kind of under-snow warfare, they may have found a way of controlling the disease.

St. Paul, MN (March 4, 2002) -- It’s the last thing golf course managers want to see, but after winter snows have receded it can be all too common. Dead grass. Usually caused by fungi, called snow molds. The molds not only turn golf courses from green to brown, but often are responsible for the destruction of other valued plants as well, including winter wheat and evergreen trees. Scientists have recently discovered however, that by pitting one fungus against another, in a kind of under-snow warfare, they may have found a way of controlling the disease.

There are more than a dozen species of snow molds, all of which thrive in the dark, humid conditions found under a thick layer of snow. The longer the snow cover lasts the better, which is why the disease is more prevalent in colder climates.

Its ability to survive in tough conditions has also made it a tough disease to combat. “Applying fungicides to kill snow mold is very costly and not very effective,” says Jenifer Huang McBeath, a plant health scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. “Not only that, but the environments in which snow molds occur are often very fragile and highly sensitive to chemical use.”

In an attempt to find a more effective and environmentally friendly solution, McBeath has discovered that another fungus, isolated from the sub-arctic region of Alaska, may offer hope. The fungus appears to prey on the most common forms of snow mold, using them as a food source. What’s even better is that it does this without harming the plants upon which the snow molds are living. “This fungus is what we call a hyperparasite,” says McBeath. “It acts as a parasite on another parasite. And in this case ends up acting as a natural and very effective method of disease control as well.”

In one experiment McBeath and colleagues treated sections of the Fairbanks Golf and Country Club’s golf course, where they commonly lost up to half of their turf grass to snow mold every year. The results were better than they had imagined. “It was pretty remarkable,” says McBeath. “In the areas where we used the fungus there was no evidence of any snow mold, anywhere.” While research is still underway, McBeath remains optimistic. “I think we’re finally getting close to providing an effective tool for dealing with something that has been a problem for a long time.”

McBeath’s research on snow molds is the subject of this month’s APS feature story and can be found at the APS website http://www.apsnet.org. The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and control of plant disease with 5,000 members worldwide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Phytopathological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Phytopathological Society. "Scientists Battle Cold Weather Mold." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020305073401.htm>.
American Phytopathological Society. (2002, March 8). Scientists Battle Cold Weather Mold. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020305073401.htm
American Phytopathological Society. "Scientists Battle Cold Weather Mold." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/03/020305073401.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins