A zoospore inoculation method with Phytophthora Sojae to assess the prophylactic role of silicon on soybean cultivars

Valérie Guérin, Amandine Lebreton, Erik E. Cogliati, Sue E. Hartley, François Belzile, James G. Menzies, Richard R. Bélanger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to evaluate whether silicon (Si) amendments, known to have a prophylactic role against biotrophic and hemibiotrophic pathogens, could protect soybean against Phytophthora sojae. To fulfill this objective, the initial challenge was to develop a method of inoculation that reproduced the natural infection process while allowing regular Si feeding to the plants. In a first set of experiments, inoculation of P. sojae zoospores directly into hydroponic solutions led to reproducible infections and expected phenotypes when using ‘Williams’ (rps), ‘L75-6141’ (Rps1a), ‘haro15’ (Rps1k), and ‘L77-1863’ (Rps1b) soybean challenged to races 3 and 7 of P. sojae. This approach offers the advantage of testing simultaneously many soybean cultivars against different races of P. sojae in a controlled environment, and the expression of partial and root resistance. In a second set of experiments aimed at testing the effect of Si, our results clearly showed that Si amendments had a significant effect on disease reduction and plant yield. The effect was particularly noticeable when combined with a cultivar displaying a certain level of resistance to the disease. These results demonstrate a useful method of direct inoculation of soybean plants with P. sojae zoospores through a hydroponic system and show that Si amendments can represent an alternative method of control of P. sojae against soybean.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1632-1638
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Cite this