PhD Oral Defense of Tanya Copley, Plant Science Department
Infections by Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group (AG) 4 cause damping-off, stem rot, and root rot of young and adult soybean plants. Potential stand losses can reach 50 percent or greater leading to yield losses of 26 K metric tons in Canada. Recently, strains of R. solani belonging to AG1 subgroup IA have been reported to cause soybean Rhizoctonia foliar blight or aerial blight (RFB), with annual losses of over 1.1 M metric tons in China making it an important agricultural disease. Despite its economic importance, no studies were attempted to uncover the mechanisms of pathogenesis employed by R. solani AG1-IA and also the defence mechanisms employed by soybean. Such knowledge is critical for the enhancement of breeding strategies aimed at increasing soybean resistance to R. solani and for the development of targeted control methods.
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