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POSTERS: Pathogen dispersal and survival

Tracking the distribution and spread of the invasive pathogen Fusarium virguliforme in Minnesota
Rebecca Hall - Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota. Kathryn Bushley- Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of Minnesota, Dean Malvick- University of Minnesota, Department of Plant Pathology

Fusarium virguliforme is the soilborne fungal pathogen that causes sudden death syndrome (SDS) of soybean. SDS causes root rot and interveinal necrosis and chlorosis, often leading to significant economic losses. This disease was initially identified in the southern USA, and risk assessment studies suggested the pathogen would not survive in Minnesota due to cold stress. However, in 2002 SDS was confirmed in southern Minnesota and has since spread northward. The pathogen was documented in 38 counties in southern Minnesota by 2012. Due to increasing soybean production in northern Minnesota and warming winters, we are conducting work to clarify the distribution and risk factors for this disease in central and northern Minnesota. Plant samples were collected in 2018 from multiple fields and counties based on symptomology, and roots were analyzed via fungal isolations and a species-specific qPCR assay. Based on this work, the pathogen was confirmed in four additional counties on the northern and western edge of its known range in Minnesota. This study also seeks to understand traits that contribute to survival strategies of this invasive pathogen in different environments. Results from this study will help to clarify areas at risk for SDS for forward-thinking disease management planning.