Testing for soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS)

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

Soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) has been prevalent this year in Michigan and across the north central states. So far in 2010, SDS has been identified in an additional six Michigan counties, bringing the total number of counties with confirmed SDS to 12. SDS is predominantly found across the south of the state but has been observed as far north as Genesee County (Figure 1).

The first step in managing the disease is to identify the problem. Although it is now becoming difficult to identify SDS symptoms, it is not too late to submit suspect plants or report locations for testing. It can be difficult to distinguish SDS from other diseases such as brown stem rot, so it is recommended that a sample be submitted for lab testing.

As part of a funded project jointly funded by MSPC and Project GREEEN, we are offering free testing of suspect samples. Samples submitted for SDS testing will allow us to determine the extent of SDS spread and to collect isolates to assess the diversity and aggressiveness of the fungus, which will ultimately facilitate the development of resistant varieties and improved management options.

Please include entire plants in you shipment. Do not wash roots, but if necessary shake off excess soil. To prevent soil from touching the foliage, roots can be placed into a separate plastic bag and secured at the soil line with a rubber band. Alternatively, you may provide a location from which we can sample. Please include grower name and contact details as well as detailed directions, crossroads or address preferably with GPS coordinates.

Samples or location details can be sent to Martin Chilvers, 34 Plant Biology building, 178 Wilson Rd, East Lansing, Michigan 48823. Email chilvers@msu.edu, phone 517-353-9967 or fax 517-353-1781.

For further information, read the Field CAT Alert article from July 29: Soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) - Fusarium virguliforme.

Figure 1: Distribution of SDS on soybeans in Michigan, indicated in red Fusarium virguliforme was confirmed in 2009 with cultural and molecular techniques, in orange SDS samples collected in 2010.
SDS distribution

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