Sudden death syndrome (SDS) of soybean, caused by Fusarium virguliforme, is a significant disease of soybean. The suite of factors that influence disease development is incompletely understood. The goal of this study was to determine the effects of pathogen population levels, crop residues, seed exudates, and their interactions on development of SDS and growth of F. virguliforme. Studies were conducted in a greenhouse with cultivars susceptible and partially resistant to SDS, four pathogen population levels, and six crop residue treatments (none; ground corn seed, stalks, and roots; ground soybean stems; and sorghum seed). Root rot was assessed 15 and 50 days after inoculation (dai) and foliar disease and plant biomass were assessed 50 dai. Population level increases and crop residues had significant interacting effects on increasing foliar disease severity and root rot and on biomass reduction. Disease severity was positively correlated with population and biomass was negatively correlated. Plants grown with no crop residues exhibited low or no root rot or foliar disease 15 dai, and severity was greatest with corn and sorghum seed. In vitro studies were conducted to test the effects of exudates collected from germinating soybean and corn seed on growth of F. virguliforme and F. solani. Growth of these fungi was greater in exudates than in water. More growth occurred in exudates collected during soybean radicle emergence than those sampled at other times during germination. These studies show that pathogen population levels and crop-derived nutrients in soil interact and influence severity of SDS. Results have implications for gaging disease risk and managing SDS.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Support for this study was provided by the North Central Soybean Research Program, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, and the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. We thank J. Orf at the University of Minnesota for providing seed of MN1410 and MN1606 soybean and L. Leandro from Iowa State University for providing an isolate of F. virguliforme from Iowa.