Favorable meteorological and environmental conditions are critical components that affect Asian soybean rust (ASR), caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the most damaging fungal disease of soybean. In this review, we used available knowledge on the effect of meteorological factors affecting the disease to construct a systems-based approach to understand the risk of ASR epidemics. The systems approach is based on a hierarchical framework where relevant environmental factors that affect the key stages of the ASR disease cycle are identified and this included both aerobiological and epidemiological components. The formal framework we used examined the following epidemic characteristics: spore release, spore dispersal, spore deposition, infection efficiency, latent period and spore production. It provided the ability to identify the most important meteorological-related factors along with relevant knowledge gaps from which the implications for disease forecasting were described. This is new information that can be used as a guide for further epidemiological research and especially to develop and improve upon both local and regional risk models.
Phakopsora pachyrhizi; plant epidemiology; risk prediction; climatology; plant diseases