Date of this Version
36th Biennial Meeting of the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists 2011, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 2-5 March 2011 Copyright© (2011) by the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists
Sugar beet seedling rust, caused by Puccinia subnitens, is a disease that has rarely been observed in sugar beet production. The pycnial and aecial stages occur on sugar beets, while the uredial and telial stages infect the primary host, inland saltgrass (Distichlis spicata). In mid-May 2009, lesions indicative of sugar beet seedling rust were found on young sugar beet plants in a field near Bayard, Nebraska. Because of the continued cool weather with above average precipitation throughout May, a survey of sugar beet production fields in western Nebraska was conducted between late-May and mid-June to further document the incidence and distribution of seedling rust caused by P. subnitens. Over this time period, 37 of 57 (65%) scouted locations, representing 8 counties in Nebraska contained sugar beet or common lambsquarter plants with pycnia and/or aecia of P. subnitens. The majority (89%) of those pathogen-infested fields were located within two counties in the North Platte Valley (Scotts Bluff and Morrill). A similar survey was conducted during May and June 2010, with only 26% of monitored locations yielding infected plants (8 of 31). The results from this survey during 2009-2010 represent the first time the disease has been found occurring naturally from field infections in Nebraska and anywhere else in the world for almost 100 years.