CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS, US — Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) research has discovered a new tool to combat sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans.

Mirian Pimentel, an agricultural sciences doctoral student at SIU, found several beneficial fungi can act as a biological control agent (BCA) to reduce the pathogen that causes SDS.

SDS usually develops early in the growing season during colder weather and high soil moisture.

Pimentel said the research “opens doors for the ag industry to explore the promising biocontrol agents that we characterized and develop cost-effective products with optimized formulation that can be available for farmers to manage SDS.”

She also said the research may be expanded to fight other diseases that impact soybeans and possibly other crops.

Her work recently was published in Plant Disease, a plant pathology journal, and was overseen by Ahmad Fakhoury and Jason Bond, professors at the SIU School of Agricultural Sciences.