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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Objectives of Sugar Beet Breeding, Resistance to Parasites, Fungi, Fusarium Yellows.

Authors
item PANELLA, LEONARD
item LEWELLEN, ROBERT

Submitted to: Genetics and Breeding of Sugar Beet
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2003
Publication Date: May 1, 2005
Citation: Panella, L.W., Lewellen, R.T. 2005. Objectives of sugar beet breeding, Resistance to Parsites, Fungi, Fusarium yellows. pp. 93-95. In (eds. E. Biancardi, L. G. Campbell, G. N. Skaracis, & M. De Biaggi) Genetics and Breeding of Sugar Beet. Science Publishers, Inc. Enfield (NH), USA. 2005 (Book Chapter)

Interpretive Summary: A fungus can attack sugar beet as a seedling (seedling wilt), at the mature root stage (Fusarium yellows) and while flowering during seed production (Fusarium stalk rot). Fursarium yellows is of particular importance in the Central High Plains (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska) of the U.S. but is found throughout the U.S., and has been found across Europe and Asia. In the early 1970s, Fusarium stalk blight emerged as a problem on sugar beet plants flowering to produce seed and the screening for stalk blight resistance was begun. In 1976, J.S. McFarlane as the USDA-ARS station in Salinas, CA began a program breeding for resistance to Fusarium stalk blight, that ultimately lead to the release of the stalk blight sugarbeets: C566, C566 CMS, C554 and C859. McFarlane concluded that the Fusarium resistance was dominant, and the result of many genes working together. The fungus causing Fusarium stalk blight appeared to be different than those that caused Fusarium yellows, fungus islolated from diseased sugar beet stalks have caused Fusarium yellows symptoms in greenhouse tests. In greenhouse tests, resistant varieties appear susceptible to some other isolates of the Fusarium fungus. If races of the fungus were present, this would have to be taken into account in any program breeding for resistance to Fusarium yellows. Because other types of the fungus are able to cause yellows symptoms, there is the possibility that these are what is confounding the efforts to develop Fusarium yellows resistant germplasm. Currently, there are no active public breeding programs for resistance in the U.S. or Western Europe, although most of the seed companies active in the U.S. have released resistant varieties.

Technical Abstract: The fungus, Fusarium spp., can attack sugar beet as a seedling (seedling wilt), at the mature root stage (Fusarium yellows) and while flowering during seed production (Fusarium stalk rot). These vascular diseases of sugar beet are caused, primarily, by the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum Schlecht. f. sp. betae (Steward) Synd. & Hans, but other Fusarium sp. can also cause disease. Fusarium yellows is of particular importance in the Central High Plains (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska) of the U.S. but is found throughout the U.S., and has been found across Europe and Asia. In the early 1970's, Fusarium stalk blight emerged as a problem in the U.S. sugar beet seed fields and the screening of hybrid parents for stalk blight resistance was begun. In 1976, J.S. McFarlane at the USDA-ARS station in Salinas, CA began a program breeding for resistance to Fusarium stalk blight, that ultimately lead to the release of the stalk blight resistant parental lines, C566 and C566 CMS, and germplasm, C554 and C859. From crosses made in his breeding program, McFarlane concluded that the Fusarium resistance was dominant, not linked to the monogerm trait, and was polygenic. The isolates causing Fusarium stalk blight appeared to be different than those that caused Fusarium yellows, however strains of Fusarium oxysporum. If races of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. betae were present, this would have to be taken into account in any program breeding for resistance to Fusarium yellows. Because other Fusarium spp. are able to cause yellows symptoms, there is the possibility that these other species of Fusarium are what is confounding the efforts to develop Fusarium yellows resistant germplasm. Currently, there are no active public breeding programs for Fusarium resistance in the U.S. or Western Europe, although most of the seed companies active in the U.S. have released Fusarium resistant varieties.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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