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Charcoal Rot of Soybean

Charcoal Rot of Soybean

Macrophomina phaseolina


In a Nutshell

    The symptoms show up during flowering and warm, dry weatherPlants with low vigor start to wilt during the hottest hours of the dayYounger leaves turn yellow and pods remain unfilledRoots and stem develop a reddish-brown grainy discoloration in the internal tissues

Hosts: %1$s

· Soybean


The disease can develop at any growth stage but plants are most susceptible at the beginning of flowering. The symptoms are usually visible during long periods of warm, dry weather. Plants have low vigor, and they start to wilt during the hottest hours of the day, recovering partially during the night. Younger leaves start yellowing and pods remain unfilled. The rot in roots and stem is characterized by a reddish-brown grainy discoloration in the internal tissues. Randomly distributed black specks at the base of the stem is another symptom of the fungal growth.


Charcoal rot of soybean is caused by the fungus Macrophomina phaseolina. It overwinters in plant debris in the field or in the soil, and infects the plants via the root early in the season. Symptoms can remain latent until adverse environmental conditions (e.g. hot, dry weather) stress the plants. The damage caused to the root internal tissues impairs water uptake when the plants need it the most. Unlike other fungi, the activity and growth of the charcoal rot fungus are favored by dry soils (27 to 35°C).

Biological Control

You can try using the parasitic fungi Trichoderma spp. It parasitizes other fungi, among them Macrophomina phaseolina. Or use the bacterium Rhizobium sp. to control the fungus.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. No fungicide seed or foliar treatments offer consistent control of charcoal rot.

Preventive Measures

    Use tolerant varieties if availableAvoid high seeding rates in the fieldIrrigate the field regularly during dry, hot weatherConsider using no-till systems to lower incidenceUse early or late varieties depending on weather patternsRotate crops with non-host crops such as wheat