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Tropical Plant Pathology

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 12–22 | Cite as

The complexity of the Sclerotinia sclerotiorum pathosystem in soybean: virulence factors, resistance mechanisms, and their exploitation to control Sclerotinia stem rot

  • Megan McCaghey
  • Jaime Willbur
  • Damon L. Smith
  • Mehdi KabbageEmail author
Review
  • 393 Downloads

Abstract

Sclerotinia stem rot (SSR), caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, is a globally important, yield limiting disease of soybean. Progress has been made in our understanding of this pathosystem at the plant level, such as the key role of oxalic acid in disease development and the importance of cell wall-degrading enzymes and other secreted proteins. Unfortunately, advances have largely focused on the fungal side of this interaction and only provide glimpses into the plant mechanisms governing resistance to this pathogen. With the absence of commercially available resistant soybeans, chemical and cultural solutions are being used by farmers to manage SSR with limited success. Additional research is needed to identify S. sclerotiorum resistance mechanisms that can be exploited to improve genetic resistance in soybean and decrease reliance on spray regimes. Technologies such as transgenics and RNAi could be exploited to improve the level of resistance to S. sclerotiorum in soybean. This review offers insight into the hurdles of managing SSR at the plant level and potential solutions that might be adopted in the future.

Keywords

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Soybean Resistance Oxalic acid Virulence factors Control 

Abbreviations

BiFC

Bimolecular fluorescence complementation

CAZymes

carbohydrate active enzymes

Chs

chitin synthase

CWDE

cell wall-degrading enzymes

DSI

disease severity index

dsRNA

double-stranded RNA

HIGS

host-induced gene silencing

HR

hypersensitive response

MAS

marker assisted selection

OxDC

oxalate decarboxylase

OxO

oxalate oxidase

OA

oxalic acid

sRNA

small RNA

SSR

Sclerotinia stem rot

PG

endopolygalacturonases

OAH

oxaloacetate acetylhydrolase

PGIP

polygalacturonase-inhibiting protein

QTL

quantitative trait loci

RIL

recombinant inbred lines

RNAi

RNA interference

ROS

reactive oxygen species

siRNA

small interfering RNA

SIGS

spray-induced gene silencing

VIGS

virus-induced gene silencing

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the funding sources that make our work and inquiry possible including the Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board (WSMB), the North Central Soybean Research Program (NCSRP), SciMed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Department of Plant Pathology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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© Sociedade Brasileira de Fitopatologia 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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