Traits of soybean-infecting Phytophthora populations from Illinois agricultural fields

D. K. Malvick, E. Grunden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Phytophthora rot caused by Phytophthora sojae is a common and significant disease of soybean (Glycine max) in Illinois and throughout the Midwestern United States. The pathogenic characteristics of P. sojae populations in several Midwestern states have been reported recently, but pathogenicity and fungicide sensitivity traits of populations in Illinois were poorly understood. Isolates (n = 121) of soybean-infecting Phytophthora spp. were baited using susceptible cv. Sloan seedlings from soybean field soils with a history of seedling diseases in 24 counties across Illinois. The pathotype and race of isolates of P. sojae were characterized using 11 differential soybean cultivars in greenhouse tests using a hypocotyl inoculation method. Sensitivity to the fungicidal compounds metalaxyl and mefenoxam was tested with 63 isolates in vitro. Most (96%) of the Phytophthora isolates sampled from Illinois soybean fields were P. sojae, but 4% were an unidentified Phytophthora sp. as determined by phenotypic and genotypic traits. We present a preliminary description of another Phytophthora sp. from soybean fields in a restricted region of Illinois that is pathogenic and capable of killing soybean. Based on eight Rps gene differentials (Rps1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1k, 3a, 6, and 7), 22 virulence pathotypes of P. sojae were identified and 88% of all isolates were characterized to a defined race. The four most common races, which were 58% of all isolates, were races 1 (21%), 4(15%), 33 (12%), and 28 (10%). Based on 11 differentials, (those noted above and Rps 2, 4, and 5), 31 virulence pathotypes were identified. The mean virulence complexities, which are the number of susceptible interactions on the sets of 8 and 11 Rps gene differentials, were 3.3 and 3.7, respectively. All isolates tested were sensitive to Apron XL, Allegiance, technical grade mefenoxam, and technical grade metalaxyl at 1.0 μg a.i./ml. The population of P. sojae is diverse and composed of multiple pathotypes and races in Illinois, and the results suggest that pathogen virulence partially explains poor performance of Phytophthora-resistant cultivars in many Illinois soybean fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1145
Number of pages7
JournalPlant disease
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


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