Greenhouse and Processing Crops Research Centre, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, Harrow, ON N0R 1G0
Field Crops, Pest Management Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ridgetown College of Agricultural Technology, Ridgetown, ON N0P 2C0
Sudden death syndrome (SDS), caused by Fusarium solani (Mart.) Sacc. f. sp. glycines, is a disease of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in several central and southern states of the United States. In Ontario, Canada, individual soybean plants with typical foliar symptoms of SDS (1) have been observed annually in Kent County since 1993 but the causal organism was not isolated or identified. In 1996, plants with symptoms of SDS were observed in six fields located in Essex, Kent, and Lambton counties. Interveinal chlorosis and necrosis occurred on top leaves of affected plants and a pale brown discoloration occurred in the vascular system in lower stems and upper tap roots. Slow-growing isolates of F. solani f. sp. glycines with typical blue sporodochia were isolated from symptomatic plants on acidified potato dextrose agar (1). Root inoculation of 15 2-week-old seedlings with colonized oat kernals with each of five single-spore isolates caused typical SDS symptoms on 5-week-old soybean plants of cvs. Conrad, A2540, S19-90, and Ripley in the greenhouse. The severity and incidence of symptoms varied with cultivar and isolate. Of 125 plants inoculated, 6% of Conrad, 10% of A2540, 14% of S19-90, and 17% of Ripley plants developed foliar symptoms. Symptoms did not develop on noninoculated controls. F. solani f. sp. glycines was reisolated from roots of symptomatic plants. Although Ripley is known to have resistance to SDS (2), foliar and root symptoms developed following inoculation with each Ontario isolate of F. solani f. sp. glycines. Yield losses in 1996 were difficult to assess because of the scattered distribution of diseased plants in most fields. Diseased plants had few and poorly filled pods. In two fields, soybean growth was severely restricted in large areas covering 2 ha each; however, soybean cyst nematode (SCN) was present in both fields. SCN was present at all locations. Although total yield losses are currently low, it is evident that F. solani f. sp. glycines causing SDS has become widely distributed in southwest Ontario and disease severity is increasing.
References: (1) K. W. Roy et al. Phytopathology 79:191, 1989. (2) P. A. Stevens et al. Crop Sci. 33:929, 1993.