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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUGARBEET GERMPLASM DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATIVE GENETIC AND MANAGEMENT APPROACHES TO REDUCING LOSSES CAUSED BY PATHOGENS

Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research

Title: Characterization of a basidiomycete fungus from stored sugar beet roots

Authors
item Toda, Takeshi -
item Strausbaugh, Carl
item Rodriquez-Carres, Marianela -
item Cubeta, Marc -

Submitted to: Mycologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 19, 2011
Publication Date: January 27, 2012
Citation: Toda, T., Strausbaugh, C.A., Rodriquez-Carres, M., Cubeta, M.A. 2012. Characterization of a basidiomycete fungus from stored sugar beet roots. Mycologia. 104(1):70-78.

Interpretive Summary: A fungus of unknown etiology exhibiting white cottony mycelial growth was observed on roots of sugar beet harvested from commercial fields in 2006 and 2007 and stored for approximately 60 days at 1.7 C under high relative humidity (97 to 100%) in an indoor storage facility. The fungus was found to be frequently associated with roots in storage that originated from plants in the field infected by Beet necrotic yellow vein virus. The isolates did not produce asexual or sexual spores, had binucleate hyphal cells with clamp connections, and grew from 4 to 22 C with and estimated optimal growth at 14.5 C. Based on morphological characters, hyphal growth at temperatures ranging from 4 to 28 C, production of phenol oxidases, and sequence analysis of internal transcribed spacer and large subunit regions of the ribosomal DNA, the closest known relative to the sugar beet isolates was Athelia bombacina. Additional taxonomic investigations are needed before species can be clarified and designated for these isolates. The fungus is potentially economically important since fungal growth on sugar beet roots in storage is known to be correlated with sucrose loss.

Technical Abstract: Eighteen isolates sampled from sugar beet roots associated with an unknown etiology were characterized based on observations of morphological characters, hyphal growth at temperatures ranging from 4 to 28 C, production of phenol oxidases, and sequence analysis of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) regions of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA). The isolates did not produce asexual or sexual spores, had binucleate hyphal cells with clamp connections, grew from 4 to 22 C with and estimated optimal growth at 14.5 C, and formed a dark brown pigment on potato dextrose or malt extract agar amended with 0.5% tannic acid. Color changes observed when solutions of gum guiac, guiacol, and syringaldzine were applied directly to mycelium grown on these media indicated that all isolates produced phenol oxidases. Sequences of ITS and LSU regions on the rDNA gene from 15 isolates were 99.2 to 100% identical and analysis of sequence data with Maximum Likelihood and Maximum Parsimony suggest that the isolates from sugar beet roots are phylogenetically related to Athelia bombacina, Granulobasidium vellereum, and Cyphella digitalis. High statistical support for both loci under different criteria confirmed that Athelia bombacina was consistently the closest known relative to the sugar beet isolates. Additional taxonomic investigations are needed before species can be clarified and designated for these isolates.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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