Minnesota and North Dakota combined contain 55% of the sugar beet production area in the United States, contributing to 49% of the nation's sugar beet production in 2018. Fusarium diseases caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. betae and F. secorum on sugar beet can cause significant reduction in both root yield and sucrose concentration and purity. The objective of this research was to identify an alternative artificial inoculation method to induce Fusarium diseases on sugar beet leaves and roots caused by both Fusarium spp. in greenhouse conditions to better aid in research efforts. We tested four inoculation methods, including barley to seed, barley to root, drenching, and cutting. and compared them with the conventional root-dipping inoculation method. The inoculation method of placing Fusarium-colonized barley seed close to sugar beet seed (barley to seed) caused levels of symptom severities on both leaves and roots similar to the root-dipping method. Because the traditional root-dipping method involves a laborious transplant process, use of infected barley seed as inoculum may serve as an alternative method in the evaluation of host resistance and pathogen virulence among Fusarium diseases by Fusarium spp. on sugar beet at the seed or seedling stage.
- Disease management
- F. oxysporum f. betae
- Fusarium secorum
- Fusarium-colonized barley seed
- Sugar beet