Asian Rust Watch | Agricultural Sciences

Southern Illinois University



Asian Rust Watch

June 13, 2006


The State's agricultural scientists stand watch over the entry of a destructive soybean fungal disease, Asian Rust. During the flowering stage, infected plants begin to show symptoms of the disease. As a result, researchers have established sentinel plots with early maturing soybean varieties in an attempt to catch the problem more quickly. Dr. Jason Bond, SIUC plant pathologist, plans to spent many hours in the fields, looking for diseased leaves, plucking samples and returning to his laboratory to analyze them via microscope. Bond also plans to continuously analyze samples brought to him by farmers in hopes of scouting for aphids and other insects.

Bond suspects that due to the proximity of southern Illinois, the disease will likely move into the area from Alabama and Florida, before moving to the northern part of the state. However, he also sees a threat along the Texas and Mexico borders where wind patterns can carry infectious spores.