What is in this article?:
Distant soybean relatives can provide the best pest and disease resistance—the kind that’s built into the plant. The University of Illinois houses the USDA soybean germplasm collection, with approximately 20,000 soybean accessions from all over the world, a treasure trove of genetic possibilities. Scientists there and at private seed companies screen for improved disease and pest resistant traits to build a better soybean.
The soybean cotyledons have just emerged in these pots destined for a Sclerotinia stem-rot trial at the University of Illinois soybean research center.
Disease accounts for 14.4% of yield suppression, costing U.S. soybean growers $5 billion in losses annually (2010 data). Crop protection includes biological, chemical and cultural methods. Host resistance is one of the most economical methods to control soybean yield loss from disease.
According to the 2009 Plant Health Progress publication (Wrather and Koenning), Phytophthora rot, SCN, charcoal rot, SDS and seedling diseases have consistently topped yield-robbing pest and pathogen lists in recent years.