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First Report of Rhizomania Disease of Sugar Beet Caused by Beet necrotic yellow vein virus in the Great Lakes Production Region

Wintermantel, William M., Crook, Teresa, Fogg, Ralph
Plant disease 2003 v.87 no.2 pp. 201
Agricultural Research Service, Beet necrotic yellow vein virus, Beta vulgaris, Chenopodium quinoa, Polymyxa betae, absorbance, antibodies, antiserum, beets, crop production, crops, cultivars, discoloration, disease surveillance, geographical distribution, indicator species, plant pathology, planting, quarantine, rhizomania, roots, sampling, sand, sanitation, seedlings, soil, soil fungi, sugar beet, testing, viruses, California, Europe, Great Lakes, Great Lakes region, Michigan, Ohio, Ontario
Rhizomania, caused by Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) and vectored by the soilborne fungus Polymyxa betae Keskin, is one of the most economically damaging diseases affecting sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.). The virus likely originated in Europe and was first identified in California in 1983 (1). It has since spread among American sugar beet production regions in spite of vigorous sanitation efforts, quarantine, and disease monitoring (3). In the fall of 2002, mature sugar beet plants exhibiting typical rhizomania root symptoms, including proliferation of hairy roots, vascular discoloration, and some root constriction (2) were found in several fields scattered throughout central and eastern Michigan. Symptomatic beets were from numerous cultivars, all susceptible to rhizomania. Two to five sugar beet root samples were collected from each field and sent to the USDA-ARS in Salinas, CA for analysis. Hairy root tissue from symptomatic plants was used for mechanical inoculation of indicator plants. Mechanical inoculation produced necrotic lesions on Chenopodium quinoa and systemic infection of Beta vulgaris ssp. macrocarpa, both typical of BNYVV and identical to control inoculations with BNYVV. Symptomatic sugar beet roots were washed and tested using double antibody sandwich-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) for the presence of BNYVV using standard procedures and antiserum specific for BNYVV (3). Sugar beet roots were tested individually, and samples were considered positive when absorbance values were at least three times those of greenhouse-grown healthy sugar beet controls. Samples were tested from 16 fields, with 10 confirmed positive for BNYVV. Positive samples had mean absorbance values ranging from 0.341 to 1.631 (A405nm) after 30 min. The mean healthy control value was 0.097. Fields were considered positive if one beet tested positive for BNYVV, but in most cases, all beets tested from a field were uniformly positive or uniformly negative. In addition, soil-baiting experiments were conducted on seven of the fields. Sugar beet seedlings were grown in soil mixed with equal parts of sand for 6 weeks and were subsequently tested using DAS-ELISA for BNYVV. Results matched those of the root sampling. Fields testing positive for BNYVV were widely dispersed within a 100 square mile (160 km2) area including portions of Gratiot, Saginaw, Tuscola, and Sanilac counties in the central and eastern portions of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. The confirmation of rhizomania in sugar beet from the Great Lakes Region marks the last major American sugar beet production region to be diagnosed with rhizomania disease, nearly 20 years after its discovery in California (1). In 2002, there were approximately 185,000 acres (approximately 75,00 ha) of sugar beet grown in the Great Lakes Region, (Michigan, Ohio, and southern Ontario, Canada). The wide geographic distribution of infested fields within the Michigan growing area suggests the entire region should monitor for symptoms, increase rotation to nonhost crops, and consider planting rhizomania resistant sugar beet cultivars to infested fields.