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14

Asian soybean rust monitoring program pays off in 2007 with first detections in Canada

Presenter: Sarah Hambleton(1)

Other authors and affiliations: Albert U. Tenuta(2), Terry R. Anderson(3), Raymond Tropiano(1), Julie Bergeron(1), Cheryl Van Herk(2). (1)Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; (2)Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ridgetown, Ontario, Canada; (3)Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Harrow, Ontario, Canada

The establishment of Asian soybean rust (Phakopsora pachyrhizi) in the United States poses a significant risk to Ontario and Canadian soybean production. Early detection is critical to managing soybean rust and efforts continued in 2007 to monitor movement of soybean rust into Ontario through the establishment of soybean rust sentinel plots and a spore trap network. Intensive monitoring for the disease in the field was expanded with the incorporation of DNA-based screening techniques and airborne spore detection equipment deployment. In 2007, the first Canadian detection of DNA of soybean rust spores occurred for rainfall and air samples from collectors deployed at sites in Ontario (12), Manitoba (1), and Saskatchewan (1). Samples were collected weekly and screened using the species-specific real-time PCR (qPCR) assay developed by the USDA and additional confirmatory DNA-based approaches. The most noticeable events occurred in mid-July and mid- to late August, when samples from multiple sites per week tested positive. Both of these time periods corresponded to a series of storm front events that suggested long-distance transport of the spores was possible. On October 16, 2007, 50 soybean leaves were collected randomly from plots on the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus in Ridgetown, Ontario, Canada. The collected leaves were incubated and examined on October 18, 2007. One leaf was selected for molecular testing. Confirmation of the initial visual detection and identification of a soybean rust pustule was made using the qPCR assay and DNA sequencing. Subsequent collections of soybean leaves from commercial soybean fields in southwestern Ontario were negative. This first detection for Canada is a direct result of the Ontario Soybean Growers (OSG) supported activities. Funding for the implementation of molecular screening of spore traps was provided primarily by the AAFC Pest Management Centre and supported by the OSG through the Canada-Ontario Research and Development (CORD) Program administered by the Agricultural Adaptation Council and the Ontario Soybean Rust Coalition (through AAFC/ACC CanAdvance Program).

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