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CFCRA Soybean Cluster; Activity 10: A new method for precise and reproducible phenotyping of Phythophthora sojae isolates in soybean

Principal Investigator: Richard Bélanger
Research Institution: Université Laval
Project Start: April 2018
Project End: March 2023

Funding Partners: 
Funding for the Soybean Cluster is provided by the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada AgriScience Program through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, with industry support from the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA) whose members include: Atlantic Grains Council; Producteurs de grains du Quebec; Grain Farmers of Ontario; Manitoba Corn Growers Association; Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers; Saskatchewan Pulse Growers; Prairie Oat Growers Association; SeCan; and FP Genetics.


  • Implementation of a new inoculation technique to assess cultivar response to P. sojae pathotypes based on zoospore infection in a miniature hydroponic system
  • Exploitation of molecular markers to validate the virulence patterns genes present in each P. sojae isolate tested
  • Expanded analyses of all P. sojae isolates currently present in our banks to all soybean-producing regions in Canada


  • The phenotyping based on zoospore approach has the distinct advantage to reproduce more closely the natural infection process and more importantly to allow the expression of root resistance and horizontal resistance not revealed by the standard hypocotyl inoculation technique.
  • Other advantages are the ease with which one can look at root response in the hydroponic system, the possibility to evaluate several cultivars at once within the same system which increases reproducibility, and the possibility to test several pathotypes simultaneously.
  • Another advantage is that any given pathotype will be consistently expressed following repeated subcultures.
  • This activity will provide precise directives for breeders to develop and exploit soybean germplasm resistant to P. sojae
  • This activity will provide long-term recommendations to soybean breeders and growers for deployment of Rps genes in commercial material.
  • This activity will result in reduced losses to P. sojae through use of soybean cultivars specifically resistant to pathotypes present in their growing areas

Activity Summary:

This activity proposes the first comprehensive phenotyping of Phytopthora sojae isolates present in Canadian soybean fields based on a novel reproducible bioassay and molecular tools.