Natural plant-derived compounds are currently being explored as alternatives for pest control in sustainable agriculture. This study explored the use of two compounds, sesamol and carbenoxolone, in the management of the fungal soybean disease charcoal rot (Macrophomina phaseolina). Previous studies have determined that sesamol and carbenoxolone compounds significantly inhibited fungal pathogen growth and plant disease in vitro. In order to assess the field efficacy of these compounds for fungal disease control, 2 years of field testing of these compounds have been conducted in southeast Kansas. Field treatments of the compounds sesamol and carbenoxolone at three concentrations, 0,500 and 1000 μg/ml, were applied foliarly at four distinct plant developmental stages. Treatments were applied to plots in random triplicate array and the experiment was repeated during the 1998 and 1999 growing seasons. Disease assessments were based on visual disease ratings, plant mortality and soybean yield analysis. Data were recorded weekly for each treatment plot and statistically analysed using analysis of variance. Results indicate that sesamol and carbenoxolone treatments significantly decreased disease symptoms (11–12%) and plant mortality (24–28%) while significantly increasing soybean yields (18–38%). These results support that plant-derived compounds can have a significant impact on soybean disease management and yield under field conditions.

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