Selection and management of bentgrass cultivars for genetic and induced resistance to microdochium patch and pink snow mold caused by Microdochium Nivale


Microdochium nivale is a serious pathogen on Nordic golf courses. Resistance to M. nivale can be present irrespective of environmental conditions, or it may require induction by defence activators. Canadian results suggest that Civitas One (CiO), a mixture of isoparaffins and a copper-containing pigment, induces resistance to M. nivale.

This project had three workpackages (WPs). In WP1 we screened 36 bentgrass cultivars, with and without CiO, for resistance to M. nivale in glass vials (Photo 1). The trial was performed three times in growth chambers. Differences in response to CiO were not significant between colonial and velvet bentgrass cultivars. In creeping bentgrass, CiO induced resistance in Penn A4, Tiger Shark, T1 and Penn G6, but had no or negative effects in Independence, CY2, Alpha, Runner and Declaration.

In WP2, the genetic component was investigated further in field trials at Landvik and Apelsvoll, Norway, from 2015 to 2017. Bentgrass cultivars were compared on unsprayed control plots, plots receiving CO and plots receiving conventional fungicides. CiO was equally or more efficient than fungicides in controlling M. nivale at both sites. The differential response in WP1 was partly confirmed at Landvik, where CiO caused a stronger reduction in M. nivale in Tyee, T1 and Penncross than in Declaration, Focus, Independence and 007. On the negative side, the waxy layer after repeated applications of CiO in autumn impaired natural green-up at Apelsvoll in spring 2017 (Photo 2).

In WP3, the effect of CiO was tested in five trials on golf courses in Denmark, Sweden and Finland from 2014 to 2017. In the Danish trials, which had practically no snow, CiO controlled M. nivale to the same level as conventional fungicides and significantly better than potassium phosphite. One of the Finnish trials confirmed that high rates of CiO in autumn could thin out the turf in spring, but the problem was overcome within a few weeks. Besides controlling M. nivale, an interesting feature of CO in these trials was its ability to act as a sun shield, thus reducing the need for turfgrass to produce anthocyan pigments (and possibly anti-oxidants) after snowmelt (Photo 3).  

In summary, this project shows good prospects for CiO to become a viable alternative to conventional fungicides for control of M. nivale on Nordic golf courses. The legal rights to CiO in Europe belong to Intelligo ( and work has started on getting the product to market.

Trygve Aamlid

Trygve S. Aamlid, Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy (NIBIO), Department for Urban Greening and Environmental Technology, Turfgrass Research Group, Landvik, Reddalsveien 215, 4886 Grimstad, Norway. Phone: +47 90 52 83 78. E-mail:

Category: Disease control
Status: Ongoing
Project period: June 2014 - December 2017

Fundings (kSEK)















Other sources














1Reserved, not granted [total funding from Canadian sources:  $148,000/yr for three years from January 2015 to December 2017)

Project objectives

Overall objective:

To reduce the dependence on fungicides for the control of diseases caused by Microdochium nivale on golf courses in Scandinavia and Canada.


1. To screen in vitro top selling cultivars of Agrostis sp. for resistance to M.nivale, with and without cold hardening and with and without the application of Civitas One mineral oil, and to identify genotypes that are either resistant or show increased responsiveness to the defence activator.
2. To validate level of resistance and responsiveness to Civitas One of the most promising cultivars (from subgoal 1) in field trials in contrasting climates in Canada and at NIBIO Landvik and Apelsvoll, Norway.
3. To determine the effect of Civitas One on microdochium patch occurring during the growing season or under snow cover in registration trials on golf courses in the Nordic countries.

Project participants

Trygve S. Aamlid

Head of Research

Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy (NIBIO), Department for Urban Greening and Environmental Technology, Turfgrass Research Group, Landvik, Reddalsveien 215, 4886 Grimstad, Norway.

+47 90 52 83 78

+47 90528378

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