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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Sugarbeet and Potato Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311489

Research Project: Physiological and Genetic Approaches to Improving Extractable Sugar Yield in Sugarbeet

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Title: Sugarbeet root aphid on postharvest root storage

item BOETEL, MARK - North Dakota State University
item Campbell, Larry
item BRADSHAW, JEFFERY - University Of Nebraska

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2014
Publication Date: 8/3/2015
Citation: Boetel, M.A., Campbell, L.G., Bradshaw, J.D. 2015. Sugarbeet root aphid impacts on postharvest root storage [abstract]. Journal of Sugarbeet Research. 52(1-2):109.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The sugarbeet root aphid (SBRA), Pemphigus betae Doane, is a serious insect pest of sugarbeet in several North American sugarbeet production areas; however, it is rarely an economic pest in the Red River Valley (RRV). In 2012 and 2013, all RRV factory districts were impacted by SBRA outbreaks, and several growers incurred significant yield losses. This research was carried out to determine the impact of SBRA damage on the postharvest storage quality of sugarbeet roots. Study sites included fields near Nielsville and Ada, MN in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and Scottsbluff, NE in 2013. Treatments consisted of 1) lightly infested, and 2) highly infested sugarbeet roots, and were replicated at least six times across each field in a paired design. In the second year, all roots were rated according to a 0 to 5 rating scale to quantify the SBRA infestations. Root samples were returned to the laboratory, washed, and stored at 5°C for up to 90 days after harvest (DAH). At 90 DAH, the postharvest respiration rate in roots that had been colonized by high SBRA infestations was 475% greater than those with light SBRA infestations. Also at 90 DAH, postharvest sucrose content in roots affected by high aphid infestations was 75% lower than in roots that had light SBRA infestations. Extractable sucrose levels per unit root weight were negligible in roots that had been colonized by high SBRA infestations. Harvesting two weeks earlier dramatically reduced postharvest losses in aphid-damaged roots. In addition to demonstrating the impacts of SBRA damage on postharvest respiration and storage losses, these findings provide important implications regarding whether such roots should be placed into long-term storage with healthy roots.