Carl A. Strausbaugh and
Imad Eujayl, USDA-ARS NWISRL, 3793 North 3600 East, Kimberly, ID 83341;
Eugene Rearick, Amalgamated Research, Inc., Twin Falls, ID 83301; and
Paul Foote and
Dave Elison, Amalgamated Sugar Co., 50 S. 500 W., Paul, ID 83347
To reduce storage losses and improve resistance to rhizomania caused by Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), studies were initiated to establish a storage cultivar selection program. In 2006 and 2007, 30 or more commercial sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) cultivars were grown in soil naturally infested with BNYVV. At harvest, two root samples from each plot were collected and used to establish percent sugar. Additional samples were placed on top of an indoor pile (set point 1.7°C) and inside an outdoor pile in a randomized complete block design with four replications. After 142 and 159 days in indoor storage, sucrose reduction ranged from 13 to 90% in 2007 and 57 to 100% in 2008. Outdoor storage sucrose reduction ranged from 13 to 32% in 2007 and 28 to 60% in 2008. An average of 31 and 45% of the root surface was covered with fungal growth in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Cultivars that retained the most sucrose had resistance to BNYVV and the least fungal growth and weight loss. Indoor storage with BNYVV-infested roots allowed for the most consistent cultivar separation and will potentially lead to selection of cultivars for improved storability and rhizomania resistance.