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First Report of Soybean Rust Caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi in the Continental United States

    Authors and Affiliations
    • R. W. Schneider
    • C. A. Hollier
    • H. K. Whitam , Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana State University AgCenter, Baton Rouge 70803
    • M. E. Palm
    • J. M. McKemy , USDA/APHIS/PPQ/NIS, Beltsville, MD 20705
    • J. R. Hernández , USDA/ARS, Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705
    • L. Levy
    • R. DeVries-Paterson , USDA/PPQ/CPHST/NPGBL, Beltsville, MD 20705

      Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1094/PD-89-0774A

      Asian soybean rust, caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi Sydow, has been known to occur in the eastern hemisphere for nearly a century. More recently, it was reported from Hawaii in 1994, eastern and southern Africa from 1996-1998, Nigeria in 2001, and Brazil and Paraguay in 2002. Aerobiological models suggested that urediniospores of the pathogen would be disseminated on wind currents to the continental United States in association with tropical storms if the disease became established north of the equator during hurricane season (U.S. Soybean Rust Detection and Aerobiological Modeling online publication at www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/ ep/soybean_rust/). Since soybean rust was observed at approximately 5°N latitude in South America before several hurricanes impacted the continental United States in September 2004, it seems likely that the introduction was associated with at least one of these tropical storms, especially hurricane Ivan. Symptoms of the disease were first observed on soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in the continental United States on November 6, 2004 in a field near Baton Rouge, LA. Typical pustules and urediniospores on infected leaves were readily apparent when viewed with a dissecting microscope. Urediniospores were obovoid to broadly ellipsoidal, hyaline to pale yellowish brown with a minutely echinulate thin wall, and measured 18 to 37 × 15 to 24 μm. Paraphyses were cylindric to clavate and slightly thickened at the apex, colorless to pale yellowish brown, and 25–50 × 6–14 μm in size. This morphology is typical of Phakopsora pachyrhizi and P. meibomiae, a less aggressive, western hemisphere species (2). DNA was extracted from leaves containing sori using the Qiagen DNeasy Plant Mini kit. P. pachyrhizi was detected using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol (1) that differentiates between P. pachyrhizi and P. meibomiae performed in a Cepheid thermocycler with appropriate positive and negative controls. The PCR master mix was modified to include OmniMix beads (Cepheid). The field diagnosis of P. pachyrhizi was confirmed officially by the USDA/APHIS on November 10, 2004, and this was followed on November 11, 2004 by a wide-ranging survey of soybean and kudzu (Pueraria sp.) in soybean production areas in southern and central Louisiana. Collections from this survey also were assayed as described above, and six soybean specimens from five sites were confirmed positive. The disease was not found on kudzu samples. To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. pachyrhizi in the continental United States. Voucher specimens have been placed in the USDA National Fungus Collection.

      References: (1) R. D. Frederick et al. Phytopathology 92:217, 2002. (2) Y. Ono et al. Mycol. Res. 96:825, 1992.