A greenhouse test for screening sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) for resistance to Rhizoctonia solani

O.E. Scholten, L. Panella, T.S.M. de Bock, W. Lange

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    Rhizoctonia solani Kühn is a serious plant pathogenic fungus, causing various types of damage to sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.). In Europe, the disease is spreading and becoming a threat for the growing of this crop. Plant resistance seems to be the most practical and economical way to control the disease. Experiments were carried out to optimise a greenhouse procedure to screen plants of sugar beet for resistance to R. solani. In the first experiment, two susceptible accessions were evaluated for root and leaf symptoms, after being grown in seven different soil mixtures and inoculated with R. solani. The fungus infected all plants. It was concluded that leaf symptoms were not reliable for the rating of disease severity. Statistically significant differences between the soil mixtures were observed, and there were no significant differences between the two accessions. The two soil mixtures, showing the most severe disease symptoms, were selected for a second experiment, including both resistant and susceptible accessions. As in the first experiment, root symptoms were recorded using a 1¿7 scale, and a significant expression of resistance was observed. The average severity of the disease in the greenhouse experiment generally was comparable with the infection in field experiments, and the ranking of the accessions was the same in the two types of experiments. It was concluded that evaluation procedures in the greenhouse could be used as a rapid assay to screen sugar beet plants for resistance to R. solani
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)161-166
    JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


    • anastomosis groups
    • root-rot
    • pathogenicity


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