Sudden Death Syndrome Observed in North Carolina Soybeans
Soybeans submitted through the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic have been confirmed to have the causal agent of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), Fusarium virguliforme (syn. Fusarium solani f. sp. glycines). This disease is not annually a problem in the region, but recent wet weather is likely influencing its presence. Disease symptoms are most prevalent after flowering. Symptoms of SDS include interveinal chlorosis and necrosis, and, when stems are split, vascular tissue will appear tan to light brown. These symptoms are similar to those caused by Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum, which is often seen in NC when plants are damaged or have root knot nematode infections. Unlike Fusarium wilt, SDS produces blue fungal mats that may be seen on the root tissues. SDS can also be easily confused with symptoms caused by stem canker or brown stem rot. Stem canker and brown stem rot will produce noticeable cankers on the outside of the stem tissue and produce significant discoloration of the vascular tissue.