SIU soybean research unveils tool to battle sudden death syndrome

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SIU soybean research unveils tool to battle sudden death syndrome

Mirian Pimentel and Dr. Ahmad Fakhoury

A doctoral student at Southern Illinois University has discovered a tool to fight sudden death syndrome in soybeans.

Mirian Pimentel found several beneficial fungi that can act as biological control agents to reduce growth of the pathogen that causes SDS. Ag Science Professor Jason Bond tells Brownfield these fungi existed in the soil long before soybeans were ever planted.

“This chemical warfare that is going on between these organisms, the good guys and also the bad guys in the soil, that can be harnessed to help us not only protect plants but also become a sustainable, long-lasting, disease control option.”

The discovery was made in Professor Ahmad Fakhoury’s lab. He says the next step is applying the discovery.

“Hopefully we will be able to collaborate with industry to improve the product and make it more applicable to farmers.”

Pimentel says her discovery is very promising.

“It is really interesting for me to work in the lab on really basic research and see how that can be applied in the field to help farmers manage this disease.”

The research was funded by checkoff dollars from the Illinois Soybean Association, the United Soybean Board and the North Central Soybean Research Program.

Interview with Dr. Ahmad Fakhoury, Dr. Jason Bond and Mirian Pimentel