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Frogeye Leaf Spot of Soybean Caused by Cercospora sojina in Northwestern Argentina

July 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  7
Pages  801.2 - 801.2

L. D. Ploper , V. González , M. R. Gálvez , M. R. Devani , F. Ledesma , and M. A. Zamorano , Estación Experimental Agroindustrial Obispo Colombres, C.C. 9, (4101) Las Talitas, Tucumán, Argentina

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Accepted for publication 17 April 2001.

Frogeye leaf spot of soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.), caused by Cercospora sojina Hara, was first detected during the 1997-98 growing season at low incidence and severity (<1% of the leaf diseased) levels in the provinces of Tucumán, Salta, Jujuy, Catamarca, and Santiago del Estero in northwestern Argentina. During the 1998-1999 growing season, disease incidence increased and disease severity grew to 10% of the leaf surface diseased on highly susceptible cultivars in a few locations. An outbreak of frogeye leaf spot occurred throughout northwestern Argentina during the 1999-2000 growing season. Frogeye leaf spot was severe on susceptible cultivars in the provinces of Salta, Santiago del Estero and Catamarca with the greatest intensity in the northeastern part of the Province of Tucumán. Symptoms on leaves were circular lesions that ranged in size from 1 to 5 mm, were reddish-brown to gray or tan, and were bordered by a narrow, reddish-brown to purple margin. Conidiophores and conidia of C. sojina developed on the abaxial leaf surface (1,2). Severely diseased leaves were desiccated and dropped during the R6 stage of growth. Lesions also developed on stems, pods, and seeds. Field surveys indicated that this disease reduced the yields of the highly susceptible cultivars Anta 82 RR, Coker 6738, and A 6445 RG by 48, 34, and 25%, respectively. C. sojina was cultured from diseased tissue on PDA acidified with 0.2% lactic acid and maintained on V-8 juice agar amended with streptomycin sulfate (100 mg/l). Conidia were elongated, dark, 38 to 62 × 5 to 9 μm, with 2 to 6 septa, and borne on dark conidiophores with 1 to 4 septa. Pathogenicity tests were conducted on seedlings of the susceptible cultivars A 6445 RG and Coker 6738 and on the resistant cultivars A 8000 RG and Shulka. Seedlings were inoculated at the V3 growth stage by spraying the leaves with a conidial suspension (4 × 104 conidia/ml) using a hand-held atomizer. Control plants were sprayed with sterile distilled water. Plants were placed in a moist chamber at 26°C for 2 days and then transferred to a greenhouse bench where they were kept at 25 to 30°C. Symptoms identical to those observed in the field became visible after 7 to 10 days. Ratings were made 14 days after inoculation by estimating the percentage of leaf area affected using a standard area diagram. Lesions covered 60 to 65% of the leaf area of susceptible cultivars, but less than 2% on resistant cultivars. Control plants remained healthy. C. sojina was reisolated from lesions on leaves of susceptible plants. Above-average rainfall and high relative humidity in northwestern Argentina during the first three months of 2000 may have encouraged the severe outbreak of frogeye leaf spot of soybean. The outbreak was aggravated by the widespread use of notillage systems in the region and the large hectarage planted with susceptible cultivars.

References: (1) S.G. Lehman J. Agric. Res. 36:811--833, 1928. (2) D. V. Philips and J. T. Yorinori. 1989. Frogeye leaf spot. Pages 19--21 in: Compendium of Soybean Diseases, 3rd ed. APS Press, St. Paul, MN.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society