SIUC researcher working to end devastating soybean disease
A Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) professor is breaking new ground in research on sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans, a disease that can threaten entire harvests of the widespread crop, according to a press release.
Associate Professor Ahmad Fakhoury recently published his research on a new soil analysis approach that provides a better picture of the disease’s incidence and severity.
“The occurrence of SDS in fields is dependent on physical and biological factors, and the suppressiveness of soils to disease is a long-known phenomenon,” Fakhoury said in the release. “Promoting and sustaining the soil’s natural suppressiveness to disease can be integral to the effective, sustainable management of soil borne pathogens.”
Fakhoury and his team used samples from symptomatic and healthy areas of fields, examining them for both their physical and chemical properties and their microbes. Their results suggest that a varied microbe population can be a key factor in SDS incidence.
“The work presented in this article documents the first attempt to assess the importance of biological factors in determining the incidence of SDS in soybean using metagenomics tools,” Fakhoury said in the release. “This is basically a first attempt at resolving the complexity of the biological interactions that affect the occurrence of the disease.”