Link to home

Effect of Solar Radiation on Severity of Soybean Rust

August 2012 , Volume 102 , Number  8
Pages  794 - 803

Heather M. Young, Sheeja George, Dario F. Narváez, Pratibha Srivastava, Andrew C. Schuerger, David L. Wright, and James J. Marois

First, second, fourth, sixth, and seventh authors: University of Florida–NFREC, Quincy 32351; third author: Monsanto, St. Louis, MO 63137; fifth author: University of Florida, Building M6-1025, Space Life Sciences Laboratory, Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899.

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 20 April 2012.

Soybean rust (SBR), caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi, is a damaging fungal disease of soybean (Glycine max). Although solar radiation can reduce SBR urediniospore survival, limited information is available on how solar radiation affects SBR progress within soybean canopies. Such information can aid in developing accurate SBR prediction models. To manipulate light penetration into soybean canopies, structures of shade cloth attenuating 30, 40, and 60% sunlight were constructed over soybean plots. In each plot, weekly evaluations of severity in lower, middle, and upper canopies, and daily temperature and relative humidity were recorded. Final plant height and leaf area index were also recorded for each plot. The correlation between amount of epicuticular wax and susceptibility of leaves in the lower, middle, and upper canopies was assessed with a detached leaf assay. Final disease severity was 46 to 150% greater in the lower canopy of all plots and in the middle canopy of 40 and 60% shaded plots. While daytime temperature within the canopy of nonshaded soybean was greater than shaded soybean by 2 to 3°C, temperatures recorded throughout typical evenings and mornings of the growing season in all treatments were within the range (10 to 28.5°C) for SBR development as was relative humidity. This indicates temperature and relative humidity were not limiting factors in this experiment. Epicuticular wax and disease severity in detached leaf assays from the upper canopy had significant negative correlation (P = 0.009, R = –0.84) regardless of shade treatment. In laboratory experiments, increasing simulated total solar radiation (UVA, UVB, and PAR) from 0.15 to 11.66 MJ m–2 increased mortality of urediniospores from 2 to 91%. Variability in disease development across canopy heights in early planted soybean may be attributed to the effects of solar radiation not only on urediniospore viability, but also on plant height, leaf area index, and epicuticular wax, which influence disease development of SBR. These results provide an understanding of the effect solar radiation has on the progression of SBR within the soybean canopy.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society