Fungicide field trial plots in Southern Brazil. Untreated control plot in the foreground, with soybean plants showing a high level of infestation with the fungus.
Photo: ©S. Lamprecht, Bayer Division Crop Science.


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Asian Soybean Rust poses a significant threat to soybean producers. An international consortium of plant researchers has now achieved an important milestone in the fight against this devastating soybean disease.

Asian Soybean Rust, which is caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, poses a significant challenge for soybean producers. Under climate conditions that are favourable to the pathogen, this devastating disease can lead to yield losses of up to 90 per cent if it cannot be controlled. 

Crop protection costs for farmers already exceed two billion US dollars (USD) per season in Brazil alone, where about 192 million tons of soybeans, amounting to a gross production value of 61.4 billion USD, are produced each year. An international consortium involving RWTH  (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule ) in Aachen, Germany, and the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, has now succeeded in completely sequencing the pathogen’s complex genome. The consortium members hope their findings will lead to new strategies being developed to combat the pathogen.

"The pathogen is very adaptable, but the number of practical solutions to combat the disease is limited. In order to accelerate innovations and identify new mechanisms of action against P.

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