Breeding for resistance to soybean rust

Glen L. Hartman, Monte R. Miles, Reid D. Frederick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Soybean rust occurs in all major soybean-growing regions of the world including the North American mainland. Soybean rust, caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi, is the most destructive foliar disease of soybean, and yield losses of over 50% are common when environmental conditions are conducive for disease development. Heavily infected plants defoliate and mature more rapidly than plants not infected with rust. P. pachyrhizi has a broad host range and can infect many other legumes including some native to Australia. A number of physiological races of the fungus have been reported on these native legumes from Australia and on soybean. In addition, four single genes for rust resistance were previously identified in four different soybean plant introductions. These sources of resistance also have been reported to be susceptible in some field locations and when challenged with certain isolates of P. pachyrhizi. Partial resistance, expressed as reduced pustule number and increased length of latent period, has also been reported but has not been widely used in breeding programs. Yield stability has been used in the past and compares percentage of yields in fungicide and nonfungicide plots. Cultivars or lines with a higher percentage of yield have greater yield stability in the presence of rust. Although soybean rust only recently was found in the continental United States, a proactive project to evaluate the USDA soybean germ plasm collection for rust resistance was initiated in 2002 at the Fort Detrick plant biocontainment facility and at six international locations. Part of this project is to discover soybean lines with greater yield stability, and additional single and partial resistance. To help minimize the impact of soybean rust, the first line of defense will be fungicides, with host resistance and yield stability augmenting the long-term management of soybean rust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-666
Number of pages3
JournalPlant disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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