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Relating Epidemic Progress from a General Disease Model to Seasonal Appearance Time of Rusts in the United States: Implications for Soybean Rust

April 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  4
Pages  400 - 407

Shimon Pivonia and X. B. Yang

Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, Ames 50011

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Accepted for publication 7 November 2005.

Soybean rust, Phakopsora pachyrhizi, has been considered a threat to the production of the U.S. soybean, Glycine max. During the past decade, this disease gradually spread to Africa, South America, and recently to the United States. Previous soybean rust risk assessments with an assumption of availability of spores early in a season showed that weather conditions (dew and temperature) during a growing season, in general, are suitable for disease development in U.S. soybean-growing regions. Predicting the time of rust appearance in a field is critical to determining the destructive potential of rusts, including soybean rust. In this study, comparative epidemiology was used to assess likely rust incipient time in four locations within the U.S. Soybean Belt from south to north: Baton Rouge, LA; Charlotte, NC; Indianapolis, IN; and Minneapolis, MN. Temperature effects on the infection cycle of five rusts occurring in the Midwest were evaluated using a general disease model. The likely incipient times were examined with the modeling results. Among the rusts studied, early-appearing rusts had suitable conditions for development earlier in a season. However, a lag period of several weeks to more than 3 months was found from the time when conditions are suitable for a rust to develop or when hosts are available to the time when the rust was detected in fields. Length of the lag period differed among the rust species examined. If nature of long-distance dispersal is not significantly different among the rusts, implications of our study to the expected seasonal soybean rust incipience in fields lead to two possible scenarios: (i) average appearance time of soybean rust across the Soybean Belt should be somewhere between appearance times of common corn rust and southern corn rust, and (ii) with late appearance of the disease, late-planted soybean in the south has greater risk.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society