Influence of Population Densities of Heterodera schachtii on Sugar Beets Grown in Microplots


  • Th. H. A. Olthof


High initial population densities of Heterodera schachtii larvae (36 and 108/gm of soil) greatly retarded the seedling emergence of sugar beet 'Monogerm CSF 1971' in Vineland fine sandy loam. In comparison with controls, initial population densities (P[subi]'s) of 1.7, 3.0, 6.2, and 14.4 larvae/gm of soil respectively reduced the weight of storage roots by 38, 56, 64, and 92%. Weights of tops also decreased with increases in P[subi]; weights of tap and small feeder roots tended to be higher at all P[subi]'s except the highest. Sucrose percentage was not affected by any initial nematode density. The populations were lower at midseason than at seeding, and at harvest had increased greatly, with respective populations of 339, 402, 222, and 140 larvae/gm of soil. At harvest, cysts/gm of soil and cysts/gm of root were respectively 4.4 and 72, 6.1 and 99, 6.1 and 191, and 5.8 and 140. The maximum rate of multiplication was 150-200. and maximum density was 400 larvae/gm of soil. The high pathogenicity and multiplication rate of the nematode was attributed to optimum temperature conditions and soil type. Key Words: sugar beet nematode, Beta vulgaris, crop losses.