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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 #362264

Research Project: Increasing Sugar Beet Productivity and Sustainability through Genetic and Physiological Approaches

Location: Sugarbeet and Potato Research

Title: Impact of drought stress on sugarbeet storage properties

Author
item Fugate, Karen
item Lafta, Abbas - North Dakota State University
item Eide, John
item Khan, Mohamed - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Sugarbeet Research and Extension Reports
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/9/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sugarbeet roots in Minnesota and North Dakota are largely produced without irrigation and rely on natural precipitation to meet their water needs. For a large portion of the crop, water stress is, therefore, inevitable when rainfall is insufficient. It is expected that drought stress prior to harvest is detrimental to storage, although little information regarding the effects of inadequate water availability during the production season on sugarbeet root storage properties is available. To investigate the effect of drought stress on sugarbeet root storage properties, watering of greenhouse plants was suspended for 1 or 3 weeks prior to harvest, and the roots from these plants were stored at 10°C and 90% relative humidity for up to 12 weeks. One or three weeks without water caused minor and severe water stress, respectively, and reduced root water content by 1.7 and 6.9%. Severely drought-stressed roots respired at a higher rate than controls or mildly drought-stressed roots throughout storage. No difference in sucrose concentration related to drought stress, however, was noted at harvest or after 12 weeks storage. Susceptibility to two common storage rot pathogens increased with severe water stress, as severely drought stressed roots inoculated with Botrytis cinerea or Penicillium claviforme and stored for 28 days had approximately three-fold more rotted tissue than similarly treated roots from well-watered plants.