Damping-off and crown and root rot of sugar beet caused by Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group 2-2 (AG 2-2) are important soilborne diseases in Minnesota and North Dakota. Management involves an integrated approach, including crop rotation, use of resistant cultivars, and timely fungicide application. Our objectives were to evaluate the role of inoculum density and cultivar susceptibility on the onset and development of Rhizoctonia diseases and on yield and quality in sugar beet. Three cultivars varying in susceptibility were sown in field plots inoculated with 0, 20, 40, or 60 kg/ha of R. solani AG 2-2 IIIB infested barley during 2013 and 2015. In both years, there was a significant linear effect of inoculum density with decreasing area under the stand establishment curve (AUSEC), root yield, and sucrose quality as inoculum density increased. Cultivar susceptibility significantly affected AUSEC as well as sucrose quality in both years and root yield in 2013. In both years, there was an inoculumdensity by cultivar interaction on disease ratings, with the partially resistant cultivar resulting in lower ratings than themoderate and susceptible cultivars, especially as inoculum density increased. These results have implications for cultivar selection and for use and timing of postemergence fungicide application based on field history of inoculum pressure.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: Partial funding for this research was provided by the Sugarbeet Research and Education Board of Minnesota and North Dakota.
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- Inoculum density
- Rhizoctonia solani
- Root rot
- Sugar beet