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Plant pathologists address next steps in combating soybean rust


In response to the discovery of soybean rust in the U.S., plant pathologists are offering an opportunity to learn more about this disease at a symposium held during the annual meeting of The American Phytopathological Society (APS), July 30 – August 3, 2005 in Austin, TX.

"This is the first year that farmers in the U.S. are facing soybean rust and we have a lot of questions that need to be resolved," said Vince Morton, soybean rust symposium organizer and president of Viva, Inc., Greensboro, NC. "The key is to keep soybean rust from becoming an epidemic and to prevent large crop losses. In order to accomplish this, plant pathologists and farmers need to become knowledgeable about how the disease is adapting to the U.S. weather and environment," Morton said.

Soybean rust is a fungal disease of soybean that has severely affected soybean crops in Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In some areas, soybean rust has caused yield losses of up to 80 percent. In November 2004, plant pathologists discovered soybean rust for the first time in the continental U.S. near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Soybean rust is identified by tiny, volcano-like, raised pustules with rust spores inside that appear on the underside of leaves of infected plants. As rust severity increases, premature defoliation and early maturation of plants is common.

Current research on the overwintering and movement of soybean rust, sentinel plot monitoring results, and the latest information on host plant resistance and chemical control will be addressed during the Responses to Soybean Rust in the U.S. symposium at the APS Annual Meeting. Symposium speakers will share their knowledge and first-hand experiences with the introduction and aftermath of soybean rust in their respective regions.

The symposium will be held August 2 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Austin Convention Center. A news conference on soybean rust and other emerging plant diseases will be held during the APS annual meeting at 10 a.m. Central Time, Monday, August 1. Media are invited to attend or call in by dialing 888.872.2038 and entering guest code 1202#.

Members of the media are extended complimentary registration to all annual meeting events. To register, contact Amy Steigman at or +1.651.994.3802.

Amy Steigman | EurekAlert!
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