Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) Or Brown Stem Rot (BSR)? That is the question!

In August we started finding soybean diseases in Ohio. Recently, several fields in Ohio have been showing foliar symptoms (Fig. 1) very similar to those caused by sudden death syndrome (SDS).   

Figure 1SDS is caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium virguliforme. This species is the most prevalent in the region, however, other Fusarium species can cause SDS. SDS above-ground symptoms can be confused with those produced by a different fungus (Cadophora gregata) that causes brown stem rot (BSR). To distinguish SDS from BSR, symptomatic plants should be dug out and stem cut open longitudinally. SDS-infected plants have white, healthy-looking pith, while BSR-infected plants present brown discoloration of the pith. Moreover, fields with severe SDS symptoms can also have high levels of soybean cyst nematode (SCN).

WATCH THIS VIDEO ON HOW TO DISTINGUISH SDS FROM BSR.

If you suspect to have SDS, we encourage you to submit a sample to the Soybean Pathology and Nematology Laboratory in the Department of Plant Pathology at The Ohio State University in Columbus (see address below). We will confirm if it is SDS or BSR; additionally, if it is SDS, we want to determine what Fusarium species is the causal agent. To submit samples, dig out three to five symptomatic plants (including roots), placed them in a plastic bag, and submit them to our lab. Do not hesitate to contact your extension educator or us if you have any questions.

We can help diagnose soybean diseases with you!

You are welcome to submit your samples to the address below. Contact us if you have any questions. Send your samples to:

OSU Soybean Pathology and Nematology Lab 

Attn: Horacio Lopez-Nicora, Ph.D.

110 Kottman Hall

2021 Coffey Rd.  

Columbus, Ohio 43210

lopez-nicora.1@osu.edu

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.