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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUCROSE ACCUMULATION AND RETENTION IN SUGARBEETS

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Title: Control of storage rot by induction of plant defense mechanisms using jasmonic acid and salicylic acid

Authors
item Fugate, Karen
item Ferrareze, Jocleita -
item Bolton, Melvin

Submitted to: Sugarbeet Research and Extension Reports
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 2012
Publication Date: February 6, 2012
Citation: Fugate, K.K., Ferrareze, J.P., Bolton, M.D. 2012. Control of storage rot by induction of plant defense mechanisms using jasmonic acid and salicylic acid. 2011 Sugarbeet Research and Extension Reports. 42:146-148.

Interpretive Summary: Storage rots contribute to sugarbeet storage losses by consuming sucrose and producing carbohydrate impurities that increase sugar loss to molasses. Presently, storage rots are controlled by cooling storage piles. This method of control, however, requires favorable weather conditions for storage and is limitedly effective in controlling rot-causing fungi that grow at low temperatures. Research was conducted to determine whether storage rot could be reduced by treating sugarbeets with jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic (SA), two plant hormones known to induce plant defense mechanisms. Against three common storage rot-causing organisms, Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium claviforme, and Phoma betae, JA applied after harvest reduced rot by 51, 44, and 71%, respectively. JA applied to foliage 7 days prior to harvest reduced storage rot due to B. cinerea and P. betae by 55 and 65%, but had no effect on rot due to P. claviforme. SA applied after harvest had no effect on root rot due to B. cinerea, P. claviforme, and P. betae when roots were harvested from unstressed plants. When roots were harvested from plants that were severely water stressed prior to harvest, SA treatment reduced rot due to B. cinerea, P. claviforme, and P. betae by an average of 54, 45, and 67%, respectively.

Technical Abstract: Storage rots contribute to sugarbeet postharvest losses by consuming sucrose and producing carbohydrate impurities that increase sugar loss to molasses. Presently, storage rots are controlled by cooling storage piles. This method of control, however, requires favorable weather conditions for storage and is limitedly effective in controlling rot-causing fungi that grow at low temperatures. Research was conducted to determine the feasibility of treating sugarbeets with jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic (SA) to induce plant defense mechanisms and reduce the incidence and severity of storage rots. JA, applied as a postharvest treatment at concentrations of 0.01 – 100 µM, reduced rot due to Botrytis cinerea, Penicillium claviforme and Phoma betae by an average of 51, 44, and 71%, respectively. At a concentration of 0.01 µM, postharvest JA treatment reduced rot due to B. cinerea, P. claviforme, and P. betae by 54, 46, and 81%, respectively. This same concentration of JA, applied to foliage 7 days prior to harvest, reduced storage rot due to B. cinerea and P. betae by 55 and 65%, but had no effect on rot due to P. claviforme. Salicylic acid, applied as a postharvest treatment at concentrations of 0.01 – 10 mM, had no effect on root rot due to B. cinerea, P. claviforme, and P. betae when roots were harvested from unstressed plants. When roots were harvested from plants that were severely water stressed prior to harvest, postharvest SA treatment at concentrations of 0.01 – 10 mM reduced rot due to B. cinerea, P. claviforme and P. betae by an average of 54, 45, and 67%, respectively.

Last Modified: 4/24/2014
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