Submitted to: Plant Molecular Biology Reporter
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2013
Publication Date: 11/13/2013
Citation: Radwan, O., Rouhana, L., Hartman, G.L., Korban, S.L. 2013. Genetic mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions for charcoal rot in soybean. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter. 32:617-629. DOI 10.1007/s11105-013-0686-9. Interpretive Summary: Charcoal rot is gaining importance as a serious economic disease of soybean. Although progress has been made in understanding and controlling various plant pathogenic organisms of soybean, charcoal rot has received less attention. Our knowledge about the causal fungal pathogen of charcoal rot, its isolates, as well as its interactions with various hosts will serve as the basis for targeted genetic and genomic studies. This review highlights the importance of taking advantage of current tools in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, genetic engineering, as well as forward and reverse genetics that will allow for significant progress in understanding the mode of pathogenesis, host response, and identifying gene(s) associated with host resistance to charcoal rot. This information is useful to plant pathogists, plant molecular biologists, and other scientists interested in improving disease resistance in soybeans.
Technical Abstract: Soybean is a leading agronomic crop and it is contributing to food and agricultural security with expanding production in diverse regions around the world. Although soybean is attacked by several diseases and pests, and progress has been made in understanding and managing some of these pathogens and pests, charcoal rot, incited by the soil-borne fungal pathogen Macrophomina phaseolina, has received little attention. Macrophomina phaseolina has a broad host range and is capable of attacking and infecting several groups of plant species, including soybean. Charcoal rot symptoms on soybean appear more commonly during hot and dry weather conditions, and therefore, is associated with drought stress. In recent years, it has become more important to develop management strategies to control charcoal rot in soybean fields. Understanding the genetics of the pathogen and its isolates as well as its interactions with plant hosts would aid in developing such management strategies. Our current knowledge of the status of this fungal pathogen, genetics, and plant-fungal relationships is reviewed herein. Moreover, a discussion of potential opportunities for utilizing modern tools to expand this knowledge and to enhance genetic resistance as well as management protocols against charcoal rot is also presented.