Florence Sessoms

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: AMF and their interactions with turfgrass species

By Florence Sessoms

In the first part of this series, I described what arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are and how they can benefit plants. In this post, I will discuss how AMF might benefit turfgrasses. Cool-season and warm-season grasses are both able to be infected with mycorrhizal fungi. A quick literature review showed that several benefits of AMF were observed with turfgrasses such as improved biomass, nutrient content, decrease in weed incidence and disease severity (Table 1). 

Mon, 06/08/2020 - 09:26


Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi: tiny friends with big impact

By Florence Sessoms

What are they?

Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) are soil microorganisms able to form mutualistic symbiosis with most terrestrial plants. Spores that are present in soil germinate, infect the root system, and form arbuscule structures inside the cells (Figure 1). Arbuscules are the site of nutrients exchange between the plant and the fungi. Another characteristic of this symbiosis is the presence of a large mycorrhizal network around the root system.

Thu, 06/04/2020 - 11:09


Fine fescue seed production in Minnesota

By Florence Sessoms

Cool-season turfgrass seed production in Minnesota is localized in Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties in northern Minnesota. Perennial ryegrass is the primary turfgrass being produced for a total of 55,000 to 60,000 acres. Perennial ryegrass is intercropped with spring wheat to allow a better survival during the harsh winter months present up north. Also, the presence of another cash crop, such as spring wheat, allows the farmer to get some income from the field in the first year while the grass is establishing as described in Figure 1.

Sun, 01/05/2020 - 16:53


Turfgrass Science Team at the 2019 ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting

The Turfgrass Science team from the University of Minnesota was well-represented at this year’s ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting held on November 10-13, 2019 in San Antonio, TX.  Seven people gave oral presentations and five people presented posters. Additionally, congratulations go to two members of our group who placed in the graduate student oral presentation contests:

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 10:11


Different shade, different results

By Dominic Petrella

It is a common misconception that turfgrasses respond the same to neutral and foliar shade conditions. However, this is not true, and even some of the best turfgrasses for shady areas exhibit contrasting growth under these different types of shade. Let’s define the two types of shade:

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:06


University of Minnesota Grass Seed Field Day

By Eric Watkins

Thu, 08/22/2019 - 12:12


Drought tolerance of consumer-available seed mixtures

By Florence Sessoms

The presence of lawns in urban environments is sometimes viewed negatively: too many chemical inputs that result in environmental pollution. I also have observed a popular misconception about irrigation on home lawns: irrigation is compared to the Danaides’ barrel (Figure 1), a bottomless pit where water is forever added and lost.  However, lawns can provide tremendous ecosystems services such as decreased soil erosion, absorption of dust and particle pollution, reduced heat island effect, and increased mental and physical human health.

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 19:19


University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media 2/18/19

Check out our team’s latest efforts in educating the public about our work!  We have a podcast and several upcoming presentations at regional conferences.

Parker Anderson was featured on the Frankly Speaking podcast on 02/11/2019. He discussed the Science of the Green Initiative, a research partnership between the USGA and the University of Minnesota, and the sustainability of golf. 

Mon, 02/18/2019 - 13:52


Turfgrass Science Team posters from the 2018 ASA & CSSA Annual Meeting

The Turfgrass Science team at the University of Minnesota was well-represented at this year’s ASA and CSSA Annual Meeting held on November 4-7, 2018 in Baltimore, MD. Read on for a summary of the wide variety of topics covered by our researchers and be sure to check out the links with the full poster content.

A novel inoculation technique for integrating the endophyte Epichloe festucae into perennial ryegrass

By Garett Heineck, Brooke Ashbrenner, Michael Miller and Eric Watkins

Fri, 12/07/2018 - 09:13


University of Minnesota Turfgrass team in the media 11/12/18

Check out our team’s latest efforts in educating the public about our work.  We have a seminar recording, a podcast and an upcoming golf industry seminar from the MGCSA!

Florence Sessoms presented a seminar titled Unraveling Regulation of Soil Nitrification (recording available here) for the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate's Fall Seminar Series

WCCO’s Smart Gardens October 27 podcast features Jon Trappe and Julie Weisenhorn who answer listeners' questions on gardening and lawns

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 16:24