Submitted to: Experiment Station Bulletins
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/9/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: An experiment was conducted to examine germination and emergence from long- term seed storage of sugar beet breeding lines. A state-of-the-art sugar beet seed storage area was completed in 2000, and evaluation of stored seedlots for viability was needed prior to depositing them into the new facility. Additionally, this was an opportunity to re-evaluate older USDA germplasm that may not have been released to the industry. Seedlots with dates from 1966 to 1990, with the majority from the 1980's, were evaluated. 3504 entries were planted in single row plots, of which only 461 (13.2%) emerged. Of these 461 seedlots, 25% showed emergence comparable to the check variety, 50% had significantly less emergence than the check, and for the remaining 25%, only one to five plants were present. Selections were made from 250 representatives from plots that had higher emergence, with selection against any roots with obvious root disease. These selections will be intercrossed for agronomic evaluation and further breeding and selection. Two separate groups included a large set of early traditional East Lansing materials, and a set of sugar x fodder beet hybrids and derivatives originally evaluated for biomass potential as ethanol fuel beets.