Application of glyphosate in combination with planting soybeans in narrow rows is an effective practice for management of weeds in glyphosate-resistant soybean. Farmers in Michigan reported higher levels of Sclerotinia stem rot (caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) in fields of glyphosate-resistant soybean. Studies were conducted to determine if glyphosate or shading reduced the defense response of glyphosate-resistant soybean to S. sclerotiorum. Glyphosate caused shikimate accumulation in glyphosate-susceptible cultivar GL2415 but not in glyphosate-resistant cultivar GL2600RR. Ethylacetate extracts containing the plant defense compound glyceollin inhibited S. sclerotiorum hyphae in a rate-dependent manner. Glyphosate had no effect on either baseline or induced levels of glyceollin in glyphosate-resistant soybean, indicating that glyphosate did not impair plant defense responses to S. sclerotiorum. Shade levels of 60 and 90% in the greenhouse did not inhibit the induction of glyceollin synthesis. Glyphosate herbicide and shading did not affect the glyphosate-resistant soybean defense response to S. sclerotiorum.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; lactofen; shikimate; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr. ‘Great Lakes GL2415′, ‘Great Lakes GL2600RR’, and ‘Pioneer 92B71′; Sclerotinia stem rot (white mold), Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary.