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Pan-African Soybean Variety Trials Seedborne Pathogens and Pests Zimbabwe 2018/2019

Pathogens and pests that attack seeds can cause severe yield losses in the filed or during storage and transport (Figure 1). These infections reduce seed quality and viability and risk introducing novel pathogens and pests into new production areas. This includes pathogens that cause bacterial tan spot, frogeye leaf spot, Fusarium root rot, and Diaporthe diseases on other plants parts as well as many viruses. It is important to monitor seedborne pathogens and pests to aid in soybean production management strategies that may include planting high quality seeds, soybean cultivar selection and optimum seed storage conditions. To detect bacterial and fungal pathogens, seed plating assays are often used. When seeds are incubated on a growth medium, bacteria and fungi grow out from the infected seed.