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Poster: Biology & Disease Mgmt: Integrated Pest Mgmt


Controlling Asian Soybean Rust and Phytophthora Late Blight by Biologicals Alone and in Combination with Fungicides
M. TWIZEYIMANA (1), E. Gachango (1), B. Espejo (1), K. Craig (1), P. Hammer (1) (1) AgBiome, Inc., Research Triangle Park, NC, U.S.A.

Tremendous losses are associated with Asian soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi) and Phytophthora late blight (Phytophthora infestans) yearly. At AgBiome, isolates from our large collection of proprietary environmental microbes are screened in high-throughput assays against a broad range of fungal pathogens, insect pests, and plant-parasitic nematodes. Genome sequences from these isolates are analyzed for known families of proteins active against plant pests, and these proteins are assayed in bacterial expression systems and transgenic crops. Successful biological and trait candidates are tested, and confirmed active biologicals proceed to the fermentation and formulation. Nearly 1200 and 500 isolates have been screened against P. pachyrhizi and P. infestans, respectively. For both pathogens, the initial screening is done using leaf disks and hits are confirmed on whole plants in growth chambers. Selected leads undergo mouse toxicity testing and scale up by fermentation and formulation before they are evaluated in greenhouse and field. From all isolates screened for the control of Asian soybean rust, seven were selected and were evaluated in the greenhouse in Florida and Illinois and in the field in Florida and Argentina. Additional selected leads with activity against P. infestans will be sent to the field this year.