Characterization of QoI-Fungicide Resistance in Cercospora Isolates Associated with Cercospora Leaf Blight of Soybean from the Southern United States

Bishnu K. Shrestha, Brian M. Ward, Tom W. Allen, Ernesto T. da Silva, Hannah Zulli, Will Dunford, Vinson Doyle, Carl A. Bradley, Blair Buckley, Pengyin Chen, Michael Clubb, Heather Kelly, Jenny Koebernick, Boyd Padgett, John C. Rupe, Ed J. Sikora, Terry N. Spurlock, Sara Thomas-Sharma, Amanda Tolbert, Xin Gen ZhouPaul P. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cercospora leaf blight (CLB) of soybean, caused by Cercospora cf. flagellaris, C. kikuchii, and C. cf. sigesbeckiae, is an economically important disease in the southern United States. Cultivar resistance to CLB is inconsistent; therefore, fungicides in the quinone outside inhibitor (QoI) class have been relied on to manage the disease. Approximately 620 isolates from plants exhibiting CLB were collected between 2018 and 2021 from 19 locations in eight southern states. A novel polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) assay based on two genes, calmodulin and histone h3, was developed to differentiate between the dominant species of Cercospora, C. cf. flagellaris, and C. cf. sigesbeckiae. A multilocus phylogenetic analysis of actin, calmodulin, histone h3, ITS rDNA, and transcription elongation factor 1-a was used to confirm PCR-RFLP results and identify remaining isolates. Approximately 80% of the isolates collected were identified as C. cf. flagellaris, while 15% classified as C. cf. sigesbeckiae, 2% as C. kikuchii, and 3% as previously unreported Cercospora species associated with CLB in the United States. PCR-RFLP of cytochrome b (cytb) identified QoI-resistance conferred by the G143A substitution. Approximately 64 to 83% of isolates were determined to be QoI-resistant, and all contained the G143A substitution. Results of discriminatory dose assays using azoxystrobin (1 ppm) were 100% consistent with PCR-RFLP results. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first report of QoI resistance in CLB pathogen populations from Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas. In areas where high frequencies of resistance have been identified, QoI fungicides should be avoided, and fungicide products with alternative modes-of-action should be utilized in the absence of CLB-resistant soybean cultivars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-161
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

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  • Cercospora leaf blight
  • G143A substitution
  • quinone outside inhibitor (QoI) fungicides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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