Location: Northwest Irrigation and Soils ResearchTitle: Sugar beet cultivar evaluation for storability and rhizomania resistance Author
Submitted to: Plant Disease
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2009
Publication Date: 5/15/2009
Citation: Strausbaugh, C.A., Eujayl, I.A., Rearick, E., Foote, P., Elison, D. 2009. Sugar beet cultivar evaluation for storability and rhizomania resistance. Plant Disease. 93:632-638. Interpretive Summary: Sucrose loss in storage and losses in the field and storage associated with rhizomania are important problems facing the sugar beet industry. In an effort to alleviate these losses, research was initiated to establish a cultivar storability selection program. With rhizomania infested roots, 90% of the sucrose can be lost in long term storage if the cultivar lacks either rhizomania resistance or storability. Cultivars with good resistance and storability can lose as little as 13% of their sucrose. Cultivar selection utilizing indoor storage allowed for more consistent cultivar separation than roots in outdoor piles subjected to fluctuating ambient conditions. These data establish a cultivar selection program for storability that should not only reduce losses in storage but may allow for better selection for rhizomania resistance. Achieving these goals will allow for increased profits in the sugar beet industry.
Technical Abstract: To reduce storage losses and improve resistance to rhizomania caused by Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), studies were initiated to establish a storage cultivar selection program. In 2006 and 2007, 30 or more commercial sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) cultivars were grown in soil naturally infested with BNYVV. At harvest, two root samples from each plot were collected and used to establish percent sugar. Additional samples were placed on top of an indoor pile (set point 1.7°C) and inside an outdoor pile in a randomized complete block design with four replications. After 142 and 159 days in indoor storage, sucrose reduction ranged from 13 to 90% in 2007 and 57 to 100% in 2008. Outdoor storage sucrose reduction ranged from 13 to 32% in 2007 and 28 to 60% in 2008. An average of 31 and 45% of the root surface was covered with fungal growth in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Cultivars that retained the most sucrose had resistance to BNYVV and the least fungal growth and weight loss. Indoor storage with BNYVV infested roots allowed for the most consistent cultivar separation and will potentially lead to cultivars being selected for improved storability and rhizomania resistance.