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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Urbana, Illinois » Soybean/maize Germplasm, Pathology, and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332410

Research Project: IMPROVED RESISTANCE TO SOYBEAN PATHOGENS AND PESTS

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

Title: Suppression of soilborne diseases of soybean with cover crops

Author
item Wen, Liwei - University Of Illinois
item Marzano, Shin-yi - University Of Illinois
item Ortiz-ribbing, Loretta - University Of Wisconsin
item Gruver, Joel - Western Illinois University
item Hartman, Glen
item Eastburn, Darin - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/25/2017
Publication Date: 11/1/2017
Citation: Wen, L., Marzano, S., Ortiz-Ribbing, L., Gruver, J., Hartman, G.L., Eastburn, D. 2017. Suppression of soilborne diseases of soybean with cover crops. Plant Disease. 101:1918-1928.

Interpretive Summary: There is increasing interest in incorporating cover crops into agronomic systems in the Midwestern US for improving soil health. However, little information is available on the effectiveness of cover crops to induce disease suppressive soils in these systems. In this study, field trials were conducted from 2010 to 2013 at four locations in Illinois to evaluate the impact of cover crops (cereal rye, brown mustard, winter canola, and winter rapeseed) on soybean stands and yield, diseases, pathogen populations, and soil microbial communities. Cover crops were found to induce general soil suppressiveness in some circumstances. Rye and rapeseed improved soybean stands in plots inoculated with the fungus that causes Rhizoctonia root rot of soybean and decreased levels of soybean cyst nematode in the soil. Cereal rye generated more biomass than the other cover crops, and increased soil suppressiveness to Rhizoctonia root rot and the fungal pathogen causing sudden death syndrome as measured in greenhouse bioassays. Cereal rye significantly improved yield when Rhizoctonia root rot was a problem. This information is useful to growers, extension personnel and scientists interested in reducing the impact of soybean diseases through the use of cover crops.

Technical Abstract: Cover crops can foster the development of disease suppressive soils, and it has become common to use cover crops to manage soilborne diseases in high value crops. There is increasing interest in incorporating cover crops into agronomic systems in the Midwestern US for improving soil health. However, little information is available on the effectiveness of cover crops to induce disease suppressive soils in these systems. In this study, field trials were conducted from 2010 to 2013 at four locations in Illinois to evaluate the impact of cover crops (cereal rye, brown mustard, winter canola, and winter rapeseed) on soybean stands and yield, diseases, pathogen populations, and soil microbial communities. Although shifts in soilborne pathogen populations, bacterial and fungal richness and community structure were not detected after cover crop treatment, cover crops were found to induce general soil suppressiveness in some circumstances. Rye and rapeseed improved soybean stands in plots inoculated with Rhizoctonia solani and decreased levels of soybean cyst nematode in the soil. Cereal rye generated more biomass than the other cover crops, and increased soil suppressiveness to R. solani and Fusarium virguliforme, as measured in greenhouse bioassays. Cereal rye significantly improved yield when Rhizoctonia root rot was a problem.