The vertical distribution of Phytophthora sojae was investigated in soil samples collected in the spring of 1994 from soybean fields at 62 locations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Minnesota. In the fall of 1995, soil samples were collected from 18 additional locations in Illinois and Iowa. Each location consisted of a pair of no-till and conventional-till fields, and soil samples were collected from arbitrarily selected locations in each field at 0- to 7.5-cm and 7.5- to 15-cm depths. Separate intensive sampling was made in the spring of 1995 from two pairs of adjacent no-till and conventional-till fields at the Iowa State University Northeast Research Farm, in which samples were collected from 0- to 30-cm depth in increments of 5 cm. Samples were assayed for P. sojae with the use of a leaf-disk bioassay. In the 1994 regional samples, there was greater recovery of P. sojae (P ≤ 0.05) at 0- to 7.5-cm depth in the no-till samples than in the conventional-till samples for all states except Minnesota. The fall 1995 samples from Illinois followed a similar trend (P = 0.05); whereas samples from Iowa showed no significant difference between tillage systems. At depths greater than 7.5 cm, there was generally no difference in detection frequency of P. sojae between tillage systems. Samples from the Northeast Research Farm followed patterns of vertical distribution similar to those of the regional samples. In no-till fields, the detection frequency of P. sojae was greatest near the soil surface; two to three times greater than that of the conventional-till fields at this depth. In the conventional-till fields, however, the frequency of recovery peaked at 20 cm and was comparable at these depths to those of no-till fields. There was a positive correlation between the percentage of leaf disks colonized and residue dry weights in the no-till fields (r = 0.84, P = 0.04; and r = 0.86, P = 0.03) but not in the conventional-till fields (r = -0.06, P = 0.90; and r = -0.60, P = 0.17). The recovery of P. sojae in greater frequency near the soil surface in no-till fields than in conventional-till fields suggests that the potential for damping-off may be greater in no-till fields than in conventional-till fields.
Phytophthora root and stem rot