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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Bacteria and Yeast Associated with Sugar Beet Root Rot at Harvest in the Intermountain West


Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 22, 2006
Publication Date: July 28, 2007
Citation: Strausbaugh, C.A., Gillen, A.M. 2007. Bacteria and yeast associated with sugar beet root rot at harvest in the intermountain west. Phytopathology. 97:S171.

Technical Abstract: Sugar beet roots with bacterial-like rot are occurring at harvest time in fields throughout southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. To establish the organisms associated with this rot, recently harvested sugar beet roots were collected from piling grounds in 2004 and 2005. Tissue from the transition zone between healthy and rotted areas was sampled on 287 roots and streaked on KMB and YDC. Cell and colony characteristics, carbon source utilization tests, and sequencing (16S rRNA for bacteria and 28S rRNA for yeast) were used to identify 396 isolates. Averaged over the two years, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, acetic acid bacteria, and enteric bacteria were isolated 32, 29, and 17 percent of the time, respectively. Gluconobacter asaii represented 92% of the isolates from the acetic acid group. Enterobacter spp. represented 82% of isolates from the enteric group. Pichia fermentans and P. membranifaciens were the most frequently isolated yeast species and represented 11% of all isolates. The importance of these organisms is yet to be determined, but they likely decrease percent recoverable sugar in freshly harvested and stored beets, and slow factory processing.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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