Botany and Plant Pathology Seminar Series
Speaker: Mr. Zachary Sexton - Department of Botany & Plant Pathology - Purdue University
Topic: North vs. South: Researching charcoal rot in a new region
When: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 at 3:30 pm in WSLR 116

The fungal pathogen, Macrophomina phaseolina (Mp), causes the disease charcoal rot (CR), which can greatly impact soybean production. This disease is typically more prevalent in the southern US soybean producing areas, but has become more of a problem in the northern US in the last decade. Host resistance to CR is the primary means of managing this disease, yet resistance in commercial soybean varieties in Maturity Groups (MG) I-III, soybeans adapted for use in the northern US, is currently unknown. To address this emerging problem in the northern US, our research targeted both the host and pathogen. Commercial soybean varieties available for use in the northern US (MG I-III) were screened for resistance to CR using a greenhouse “cut-stem” assay, and multiple potential moderately resistant varieties were identified. M. phaseolina isolates native to the northern US were compared with southern isolates to identify differences in growth and development when exposed to various temperatures. Clear temperature preferences were apparent. Isolate populations were also compared based on disease reactions on different soybean varieties. Experiments showed that disease reactions can vary based on the individual isolate used.

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