Guess the Pest! Week #23 Answer: Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybean

Bill Cissel, Extension Agent – Integrated Pest Management;

Congratulations to Lamar Witmer for correctly identifying the disease as sudden death syndrome of soybean and for being selected to be entered into the end of season raffle for $100 not once but five times. Everyone else who guessed correctly will also have their name entered into the raffle. Click on the Guess the Pest logo to participate in this week’s Guess the Pest challenge!

Guess the Pest Week #23 Answer: Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybean
by Nancy Gregory, Plant Diagnostician;

Sudden death syndrome of soybeans (SDS) is caused by the fungus Fusarium virguliforme. We started seeing this disease in Delaware in 2002 in cool and wet seasons, but have seen it more often in the past few years. SDS can be confused with other stem diseases such as Phomopsis stem canker and charcoal rot. Leaf symptoms of yellowing and browning between the veins are typical, and leaves shrivel and fall off, leaving petioles still on the stems. If stems are pulled up and placed in a plastic bag overnight, blue spore masses of the fungus may be seen at the base of stems. The internal stem tissue (cortex) may show dark discoloration. There is a toxin produced by the fungus that is responsible for the symptom pattern showing up at the top of the plant. The fungus overwinters in debris, and disease is most severe when infection occurs early. Improving drainage, alleviating compaction, and treating seed may help get seedlings established.