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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #333145

Research Project: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Enhanced Sugar Beet Germplasm

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: Influence of environment, crop age, and cultivar on the development and severity of Fusarium yellows in field-grown sugar beet

Author
item Webb, Kimberly
item Del Grosso, Stephen - Steve
item West, Mark
item Freeman, Claire
item Brenner, Tammy

Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2017
Publication Date: 4/13/2017
Citation: Webb, K.M., Del Grosso, S.J., West, M.S., Freeman, C.N., Brenner, T.L. 2017. Influence of environment, crop age, and cultivar on the development and severity of Fusarium yellows in field-grown sugar beet. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 39(1):37-47.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium yellows, caused by multiple Fusarium spp., is an important disease or sugar beet in many production regions and leads to considerable reductions in yield. Due to the increasing incidence of Fusarium yellows in production regions, a better understanding of how Fusarium yellows develops would provide growers additional information for managing losses due to Fusarium yellows. However, little is known about how environmental factors contribute to Fusarium yellows development and severity in the field nor how sugar beet responds to these factors. Therefore, we monitored the occurrence of Fusarium yellows and disease severity in field grown sugar beet and correlated the environmental conditions during the growing seasons that were associated with Fusarium development over four years. While Fusarium yellows gradually increased during the field season, soil moisture was the most correlated with increasing severity throughout the growing season with lower soil moisture content being associated with higher levels of Fusarium yellows as plants got older. This was especially true for the resistant variety.

Technical Abstract: Fusarium yellows, caused by multiple Fusarium spp., is an important disease of sugar beet in many production regions and leads to considerable reductions in root yield, sucrose percentage, and juice purity. Due to the increasing incidence of Fusarium yellows and the potential impacts of climate change on plant disease development, a better understanding of how the environment contributes to disease severity would provide additional strategies for managing losses due to Fusarium yellows. However, little is known about how environmental factors interact with sugar beet to influence development and severity of disease in the field, nor how sugar beet responds to these abiotic stresses. Therefore, the occurrence of Fusarium yellows in a susceptible, moderately susceptible, and a resistant variety of field grown sugar beet were monitored and correlated with the environmental conditions during the growing season over a four year period. While Fusarium yellows gradually increased during the field season with crop age, soil moisture appeared to be the environmental factor most correlated with Fusarium yellows severity throughout the growing season. Higher soil moisture content was generally associated with higher levels of Fusarium yellows particularly as the growing season progressed. During drier years disease severity was less, especially for the resistant variety. We also developed variety specific prediction models based on crop age and soil water content which explained 68-91% of the observed variability in disease severity based on these findings.