Common Name: Pythium root dysfunction
Scientific Name: Pythium volutum

Pythium root dysfunction is a disease of creeping bentgrass putting greens, and is most damaging to greens that were constructed within the last 10 years. The pathogen infects bentgrass roots during the fall and spring and reduces their ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Symptoms may appear at any time of year, but are most severe during periods of hot and/or dry weather. Pythium root dysfunction appears in circles or irregular patches up to 2 feet in diameter that initially show signs of wilt or nutrient deficiency. As the disease progresses, affected areas turn orange and decline, eventually collapsing to the ground. Infected roots are tan in color and lack root hairs, which causes the sand to fall easily from the roots when examining a soil probe sample. Reductions in root depth may not be evident during the fall and spring, but roots infested with Pythium volutum die back rapidly when soil temperatures are above 85ºF.
pythium root dysfunction in bentgrass
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Characteristic Description
Host Turfgrass (7)creeping bentgrass
Month(s) with symptomsall
Stand Symptoms (7)patches (4 inches to greater than 3 feet)
Foliar Symptoms - Location/Shapedieback from leaf tip
Foliar Symptoms - Color (2)orange, yellow
Root/Crown Symptoms (1)roots tan and lacking root hairs
Fungal Signsnone
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