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Fusarium Yellows of Sugarbeet Found at Research Site in Moorhead, Minnesota (06/09/16)

Fusarium yellows were first observed in late May and confirmed on June 6 at the NDSU and University of Minnesota research site in Moorhead, MN.

Fusarium Yellows of Sugarbeet Found at Research Site in Moorhead, Minnesota

                Fusarium yellows were first observed in late May and confirmed on June 6 at the NDSU and University of Minnesota research site in Moorhead, MN. The causal agents for Fusarium yellows (and decline) are the pathogenic fungi Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium secorum. Fusarium yellows may cause significant reduction in plant stand and root yield, and it is recommended that infected roots not be placed in long-term storage.

                The pathogens may infect seedlings and older plants in fields where soil temperature is at or above 65°F and in the presence of adequate moisture or wet conditions. In seedlings and young plants, oldest leaves become yellow following by wilting and death (Figure 1). Cross sections of infected roots will show darkening of the vascular system. On older plants (4 leaves and older), symptoms include interveinal yellowing and death of older leaves (Figure 2), sometimes distinct necrosis of half the leaf on one side of the midrib which then spreads to the other side of the mid-rib; necrosis of older leaves followed by death of the younger leaves. Under severe disease conditions, infected plants may die, with seedlings being more vulnerable. In fields where the disease is not severe, older leaves of infected plants display typical foliar symptoms but the plants survive. Roots of infected plants have roots with no external symptoms, but when these roots are cut in a cross section, there is a distinct darkening and damage of the vascular system. Roots of infected plants do not store well in piles and have high respiration rates which results in low sugar concentration during storage. Manage Fusarium yellows by planting varieties with tolerance to Fusarium yellows and other root diseases common to specific fields. Consult your agriculturists or seed sales representatives for Fusarium tolerant varieties appropriate for your growing area. Fields should be scouted for Fusarium yellows and records should be kept to be used when deciding on varieties the next time that field will be planted to beets again.

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Mohamed Khan

Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

NDSU & U of MN

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