Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program.
Ph.D. Level Student
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Advised by Dr. Jason Bond
Stem Diseases of Soybean: Identifying the Prevalent Causing Pathogens Across Illinois
Soybean is afflicted by many pathogens that cause disease and reduce yield. These pathogens can affect different parts of the plant: leaves, pods, seeds, roots, and stems. Historically, less research has focused on diseases affecting soybean stems and the pathogens associated with them. Identifying stem diseases and the associated pathogens would increase awareness and help develop and deploy adequate management practices targeting those pathogens to reduce their negative impact on yield. Our main objective in this research is to identify major stem diseases affecting soybean across Illinois and the pathogens associated with them. To this aim, a sampling protocol was developed and shared with farmers. Infected plant samples were sent to SIU from fifty locations across the state. Pathogens are being isolated from diseased plants, and molecular techniques are used to identify the pathogens. When completed, this work will give us a better idea of the incidence and distribution of soybean stem pathogens in IL and the association of these diseases with different production practices. The ultimate goal is to use this information to develop management practices targeting those pathogens.