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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314221

Research Project: IMPROVED RESISTANCE TO SOYBEAN PATHOGENS AND PESTS

Location: Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research

Title: Zinc deficiency alters soybean susceptibility to pathogens and pests

Author
item Helfenstein, Julian - Swiss Federal Institute Of Technology Zurich
item Pawlowski, Michelle - University Of Illinois
item Hill, Curtis - University Of Illinois
item Stewart, Jessica - University Of Illinois
item Lagos-kutz, Doris - University Of Illinois
item Bowen, Charles - Roger
item Frossard, Emanuel - Swiss Federal Institute Of Technology Zurich
item Hartman, Glen

Submitted to: Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/21/2015
Publication Date: 12/7/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/61874
Citation: Helfenstein, J., Pawlowski, M.L., Hill, C., Stewart, J., Lagos-Kutz, D., Bowen, C.R., Frossard, E., Hartman, G.L. 2015. Zinc deficiency alters soybean susceptibility to pathogens and pests. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. 178:896-903.

Interpretive Summary: Inadequate plant nutrition and biotic stress are key threats to current and future crop yields. Zinc deficiency and toxicity in major crop plants have been documented, but there is limited information on how pathogen and pest damage may be affected by differing plant zinc levels. In our study, we used soybean, a soybean pest, and three soybean pathogens to determine whether zinc levels altered plant response to these biotic stresses. Plants that were treated with lower Zn than normal had increased soybean aphid counts and increased disease severity rating for bacterial pustule and Sclerotinia stem rot compared to plants without Zn deficiency. The accumulation of zinc did not reduce disease severity or reduce aphid counts. These results show the importance of Zn in aiding soybean health to combat biotic contraints. This research is important to soybean agronomists, pathologists, and other scientists interested in how plant nutrition may affect plant health.

Technical Abstract: Inadequate plant nutrition and biotic stress are key threats to current and future crop yields. Zinc deficiency and toxicity in major crop plants have been documented, but there is limited information on how pathogen and pest damage may be affected by differing plant zinc levels. In our study, we used soybean, a soybean pest, and three soybean pathogens to determine whether zinc levels in the plant changed pest and disease assessments. Two soybean cultivars were grown in sand culture with a soluble nutrient solution that was deficient to toxic in Zn. Detached leaves from these plants were inoculated with either Aphis glycines (soybean aphid), Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines (bacterial pustule), Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Sclerotinia stem rot), or Phakopsora pachyrhizi (soybean rust). Plants that were treated with lower Zn than normal had increased soybean aphid counts and increased disease severity rating for bacterial pustule and Sclerotinia stem rot compared to plants without Zn deficiency (P < 0.05). The accumulation of zinc did not reduce disease severity ratings or aphid counts. Zinc content in leaves had a positive interaction with B, N, K, and S contents, and negative interaction with Fe, Mg, and P contents, and a parabolic relationship with Ca, Cu, and Mn. In the wake of aggravating micronutrient deficiencies worldwide, we discuss the importance of proving a growth response curve and considering nutrient interactions in advancing the field of nutrient-disease research.