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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 #358694

Title: Drought stress increases sugarbeet root respiration rate and susceptibility to storage rots

item LAFTA, ABBAS - North Dakota State University
item Fugate, Karen
item Eide, John
item KHAN, MOHAMED - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/13/2018
Publication Date: 2/25/2019
Citation: Lafta, A.M., Fugate, K.K., Eide, J.D., Khan, M.F. 2019. Drought stress increases sugarbeet root respiration rate and susceptibility to storage rots [abstract]. American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists, February 25-28, 2019, Anaheim, CA.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In Minnesota and North Dakota, sugarbeets are predominantly produced without irrigation. Drought stress, is therefore inevitable when seasonal rainfall is insufficient to meet the water requirements of the crop. Drought stress prior to harvest negatively affects plant growth, root and sucrose yield, and increases the concentrations of impurities that cause sucrose to be lost to molasses during processing. The effects of varying level of water stress on storage properties of sugarbeet, however, are not well characterized. To better understand and quantify the effects of preharvest water conditions on plant growth and sugarbeet storage, greenhouse experiments were conducted to determine the impact of varying levels of water stress on leaf photosynthesis and root storage properties including respiration rate and susceptibility to storage rots. Plants were grown in 15-liter pots for 18 weeks with supplemental light under a 16 h light/8 h dark regime and then subjected to water stress for 1, 2, or 3 weeks prior to harvest. Control treatments were watered daily. Photosynthesis was measured at the end of each water stress treatment and the harvested roots were stored at 10oC and 85% relative humidity for 12 weeks. Plant growth, photosynthesis and root yield were reduced by water stress. Roots harvested from visibly water stressed plants had higher rates of respiration and increased susceptibility to storage rot due to Botrytis cinerea and Penicillium claviforme. These results indicate that root dehydration caused by water stress during the growing season negatively impacts root storage.