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Plant Pathology

Department of Plant Pathology


Soybean Pathology

Plant Pathologists and Breeders Team Up to Develop
Disease-Resistant Soybeans


Soybean is Ohio’s number one field crop, with an annual economic output of more than $1 billion. Phytophthora root rot and stem rot of soybean, caused by the pathogen Phytophthora sojae, are the major disease problems  for Ohio soybean production, with losses as high as $120 million in a given year.

The diseases are prevalent in Ohio’s high-clay soils, making management difficult.  The use of Phytophthora-resistant varieties is a critical strategy for successful production.


OARDC plant pathologists and breeders have made great strides in identifying Rps genes important for Phytophthora resistance. A recently identified locus for resistance, Rps8, confers resistance to all races of P. sojae.


Rps genes have made a tremendous impact on breeding, and these genes are now available in commercial varieties.  The recent discovery of Rps8 is a breakthrough for improving Phytophthora-resistant varieties. Because there are many pathotypes of P. sojae, new sources of disease resistance must continue to be characterized and evaluated.

Anne Dorrance, Plant Pathology; Steven St. Martin, Leah McHale, Horticulture and Crop Science

More Information:

Wang, Hehe; St Martin, Steven K.; Dorrance, Anne E.. 2012. Comparison of Phenotypic Methods and Yield Contributions of Quantitative Trait Loci for Partial Resistance to Phytophthora sojae in Soybean. Crop Science 52(2): 609-622.