New `Focus on Soybean' Talk Offers Knowledge, Management Tactics for Battling Soybean Root and Stem Rots

February 20, 2014

By Alison Robertson, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
If you attended any Iowa State University Extension and Outreach events in the past two years, you'll have heard the word "Oomycetes" come up, particularly with reference to seedling diseases of soybean (and also corn). Phytophthora sojae and Pythium species are oomycetes, and they can result in stand loss early on in the season if conditions are particularly wet.
While resistant varieties are the main defense against seedling blight and root and stem rot caused by P. sojae, management of Pythium requires use of a combination of management practices that include seed treatments, tillage and soil moisture management.
To help growers, crop consultants and extension educators improve their knowledge, understanding and, most importantly, management of oomycetes, Dr. Jim Kurle, assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Minnesota, produced a webcast presentation, "Oomycete Diseases of Soybean and Current Management."
This webcast, published in the Plant Management Network's Focus on Soybean resource, discusses the biology of Phytophthora and Pythium pathogens, as well as the environmental factors that influence disease development and their unique aggressive characteristics. Management of diseases caused by oomycetes are also discussed, emphasizing the integration of resistance, chemical controls and cultural practices.
The research in this presentation was funded through a USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) grant on oomycete diseases ( Through links and attachments embedded in the webcast player, this presentation leads viewers to other important resources funded through this grant from various universities and programs.
This 20-minute presentation is fully open access thanks to funding associated with this grant.
This talk and other Focus on Soybean presentations can be viewed at Webcasts on a variety of other crops can be found in PMN's Education Center.

Focus on Soybean is a publication of the Plant Management Network, (, a nonprofit online publisher whose mission is to enhance the health, management and production of agricultural and horticultural crops. PMN achieves this mission by publishing applied, science-based resources for growers, consultants and applied researchers.

Alison Robertson is an associate professor of plant pathology with research and extension responsibilities in field crop diseases. Robertson may be reached at (515) 294-6708 or by email at

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