These nemeses include Cercospora leaf spot
, cyst nematodes, root-knot nematodes, and curly top virus, among others.
For example, Cercospora leaf spot of beet is a major pathogen, and can limit yield if the disease attacks early.
brasscae) no change 1998 beet Cercospora leaf spot decreased(**) 1998 beet Root lesions (Pythium) no change 1998 carrot Scurf (Rhizoctonia) increased(*) Year Crop Dairy manure NPK compost control 1997 turnip no change not tested 1997 radish no change not tested 1997 turnip decreased(*) not tested 1998 beet decreased(**) no change 1998 beet no change increased(*) 1998 carrot increased(*) increased(*)
The technology has been under development by MSU and Montana BioAgriculture, and the collaboration has proven the efficacy of BmJ against Cercospora leaf spot
in sugar beets, white mold and early blight in potatoes, and several other crop diseases.
Meanwhile, scientists in the ARS Sugar Beet Research Unit at Fort Collins, Colorado, have produced dozens of breeding lines with varying levels of resistance to three other serious diseases: curly top virus, spread by insects known as leafhoppers; Rhizoctonia root rot, a soilborne fungal disease; and Cercospora leaf spot
, another fungus.
He and research associate Gordon Snyder began trying to insert a modified gene into cells of sugar beets, one that might give the beet plants resistance to a fungal disease, Cercospora leaf spot
Other conventional breeding work to develop beets resistant to Cercospora leaf spot
is under way, says Smith, including some that plant explorer Coons had collected.