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Root rot symptoms in sugar beet lines caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. betae

Hanson, Linda, De Lucchi, Chiara, Stevanato, Piergiorgio, McGrath, Mitch, Panella, Lee, Sella, Luca, De Biaggi, Marco, Concheri, Giuseppe
European journal of plant pathology 2018 v.150 no.3 pp. 589-593
Agricultural Research Service, Fusarium oxysporum, breeding programs, discoloration, disease course, disease severity, genotype, germplasm, host-pathogen relationships, root rot, roots, soil fungi, sugar beet, Italy
The soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum can cause both Fusarium yellows and Fusarium root rot diseases with severe yield losses in cultivated sugar beet. These two diseases cause similar foliar symptoms but different root response and have been proposed to be caused by two distinct F. oxysporum formae speciales. Fusarium yellows, caused by F. oxysporum f. sp. betae, presents vascular discoloration, whereas Fusarium root rot, due to F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-betae, appears as black rot visible on the root surface. The aim of this work was to study the host-pathogen interaction between sugar beet lines and isolates originally characterized as Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. betae. Eight susceptible sugar beet lines, selected by the USDA-ARS (US) and UNIPD (University of Padova, Italy) breeding programs, were inoculated with three different isolates of F. oxysporum f. sp. betae, the causal agent of Fusarium yellows, representing different genetic groups. All inoculated lines developed symptoms, but severity, expressed as area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC), differed significantly (P < 0.05) among lines. Two lines from UNIPD, 6 and 9, were the most susceptible to the disease, whereas the other lines showed similar levels. The three isolates of F. oxysporum f. sp. betae differed significantly (P < 0.05) in disease severity. Five weeks after inoculation the plants were harvested and roots examined. Surprisingly, severe root rot was observed in the susceptible UNIPD lines when inoculated with all three isolates, while this symptom was never observed in the USDA germplasm. The development of this disease symptom obviously depends on the plant genotype.