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III. Microbial Activities and Ion Accumulation

III. Microbial Activities and Ion Accumulation

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84



CECIL H. WADLEIGH



4. Supply of nutrient ions.

Clark (1949) has reviewed the evidence on this point. The activities of microorganisms can be a major consideration in the

supply of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and minor elements to

plants.

5. Level of internal accumulation.

Soil microbes would have an indirect effect on this point in that

they may have affected the supply of nutrients to the plant at

an earlier stage of growth, thereby influencing the facility with

which the plant effects ion accumulation at the later stage.

6. Competition between ions.

The production of CO, by microbes may effect an increase in

hydrogen ion concentration in the soil and thereby alter the

relative availability of cations and phosphate. Any effect microbial activity may have on depleting oxygen supply may also

have the further effect of modifying any inherent capacity the

plant root possesses with respect to selectively excluding sodium

(Hopkins et al., 1950).

7. Stimulative effects.

Schmidt ( 1951) reviewed the evidence relating the effects of

growth-stimulating substances produced by bacteria. Numerous

investigators have shown that various growth regulators for

higher plants are produced by bacterial synthesis. Substances

so produced have been shown to stimulate seed germination and

nodule formation on legumes. It is quite possible that certain of

these growth regulators could promote metabolically controlled

ion absorption.

8. Toxic effects.

Steinberg (1947) grew tobacco seedlings in aseptic culture in

the presence of diffusates of certain common soil bacteria and

found that various types of chlorosis developed on the leaves. In

a later work, Steinberg (1951) collected samples of soil adjacent

to the roots of tobacco plants which were either growing normally or were severely frenched. In six of seven paired samples

of rhizosphere soil, higher populations of 3acillus cereus were

found for the frenching soil than were found in normal soils.

Roots of frenched tobacco showed especially large populations

of B. cereus, with values several times those hitherto reported

for normal plant roots. The study indicated a good probability

that B. cereus has a causal relationship in frenching of tobacco.

As Norman (1951) points out, organic acids are a product of

bacterial activity under anaerobic conditions. Little is known as



M I N E R A L N U T R T T I O N OF P L A N T S



85



to what effect these acids would have on plant roots, but it is

interesting to recall that Machlis (1944) found malonate to be

highly inhibitory to root respiration and salt accumulation.

There is appreciable evidence (Schreiner, 1923; Bode, 1939;

Pickering, 1917 ) that organic substances produced by anaerobes

in waterlogged soils may be specifically toxic to plants.

9. Membrane specificity.

The nature of the environment cannot change inherent characteristics, but environmental modifications can condition the degree to which heritable specificities may be expressed. In other

words, products of microbial metabolism may alter the degree

to which the roots of different species of plants give expression

to specificity in membrane permeability. However, any comment as to what might occur in this regard would be pure speculation. Schmidt (1947) has reviewed evidence that the presence

of mycorrhizae on the roots of certain species (conifers) enhanced the absorption of mineral nutrients.

10. Temperature.

Jones and Tio (1948) observed “frenching” of tobacco when the

soil temperature was maintained at 35O C., but not when held

a t 21O C. The authors concluded that microorganisms capable

of impairing ion availability to the tobacco plants were stimulated by the higher temperature. Sterilized soil did not show the

differential response to temperature.

The definite effect of temperature on the activity of soil microbes is fully recognized, and further comment is superfluous

other than to emphasize that the degree to which microorganisms affect mineral nutrition by means previously listed will be

conditioned by soil temperature.

11. Water.

Wadleigh and Richards ( 1951) briefly reviewed evidence pertaining to the influence of excess soil moisture on microbial activity as related to mineral nutrition of plants. Obviously, such

conditions induce anaerobiosis by which toxic organic substances may accumulate, or the availability of minor elements

may be changed by a change in the state of oxidation. Thom

and Smith (1938) point out that anaerobic decomposition of organic matter in waterlogged soils frequently produces hydrogen

sulfide. This substance is very toxic to plant roots.



It should be recognized that the foregoing discussion of possible ways

in which soil microbial action may affect metabolic accumulation of



86



CECIL €1. WADLEIGH



ions by plant roots contains a high degree of speculation. Nevertheless,

i t is worth while to call attention to these points, since they comprise a

fertile field of investigation in the study of soils and soil fertility.



IV. SUMMARY

The evidence and current concepts concerning metabolic accumulation of ions by plant roots are discussed. Eleven factors that affect ion

absorption are set forth:

1. Supply of metabolite in root cells.

2. Oxygen supply.

3. Carbon dioxide accumulation.

4. Supply of nutrient ions.

5. Level of internal accumulation of ions.

6. Competition between ions.

7. Stimulative effects.

8. Toxic effects.

9. Membrance specificity.

10. Temperature.

11. Water.

The possible and probable effects of the activities of soil microorganisms on each of these factors are also discussed.



REFERENCES

Bode, H. R. 1939. Planta 3 0 , 566.

Bonner, J. 1949. Am. J . Botany 36, 429.

Brown, J. C. 1953. Plant Physiol. 28, 495.

Broyer, T. C. 1951. I n “Mineral Nutrition of Plants” (E. Truog, ed.), pp. 187-249.

Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Burstrom, H. 1951. I n “Mineral Nutrition of Plants” (E. Truog, ed.), pp. 251-260.

Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Caplin, S. M., and Steward, F. C. 1948. Science 108, 655.

Chang, H. T., and Loomis, W. E. 1945. Plant Physiol. 20, 221.

Clark, F. E. 1949. Advances in Agron. 1 , 241-288.

Collander, R. 1941. Plant Physiol. 16, 691.

Cowie, D. B., Roberts, R. B., and Roberts, I. Z. 1949. J . Cellular Comp. Physiol. 34,

24.3.

Epstein, E. 1953. Nature 171, 83.

Epstein, E., and Hagen, C. E. 1952. Plant Physiol. 27, 457.

Epstein, E., and Leggett, J. E. 1954. Am. J . Botany 41, 785.

Hoagland, D. R., and Broyer, T. C. 1936. Plant Physiol. 11,471.

Hopkins, H. T., Specht, A. W., and Hendricks, S. B. 1950. Plant Physiol. 25, 193.

Jacobson, L., and Overstreet, R. 1947. Am. J . Botany 34, 415.

Jacobson, L., Overstreet, R., King, H. M., and Handley, R. 1950. PZant Physiol. 25,

639.

Jones, L. H., and Tio, M. A. 1948. PZant Physiol. 23, 576.



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Lindner, R. C., and Harley, C. P. 1944. Plant Physiol. 19, 420.

Lineweaver, H., and Burk, D. 1934. J . Am. Chem. SOC.56, 658.

Lundegardh, H. 1940. Ann. Agr. Coll. Sweden 8, 233.

Machlis, L. 1944. Am. J . Botany 31, 183.

Norman, A. G. 1951. In “Mineral Nutrition of Plants” (E. Truog, ecl.), pp. 167-186.

Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Madison.

Overstreet, R., and Jacobson, L. 1952, Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol. 3, 189.

Pickering, S. W. 1917. Ann. Botany (London) 31, 181.

Roberts, R. B., and Roberts, I. Z. 1950. J . Cellular Cornp. Physiol. 36, 15.

Roberts, R. B., Roberts, I. Z., and Cowie, D. B. 1949. J . Cellular Contp. Physiol. 34,

259.

Robertson, R. N. 1951. Ann. Rev. Plant Physiol. 2, 1.

Robertson, R. N., and Wilkins, M. J. 1948. Australian J . Sci. Research 61, 17.

Robertson, R. N., Wilkins, M. J., and Weeks, D. C. 1951. Australian J . Sci. Research

04, 248.

Rosenberg, T. 1948. Acta Chem. Scand. 2, 14.

Schmidt, E. L. 1947. Soil Sci. 64. 459.

Schmidt, E. L. 1951. Soil Sci. 71, 129.

Schreiner, 0. 1923. J . Am. SOC.Agron. 15,270.

Steinberg, R. A. 1947. J . Agr. Research 75, 199.

Steinberg, R. A. 1951. Plant Physiol. 26, 807.

Steward, F. C. 1937. Trans. Paraday SOC.33, 1006.

Thorn, C., and Smith, N. R. 1938. U S . Dept. Agr. Yearbook Agr., p . 940.

Ulrich, A. 1941. Am. J . Botany 28, 526.

Viets, F. G. J. 1944. Plant Physiol. 19, 466.

Wadleigh, C. H., and Brown, J. W. 1952. Botan. Gaz. 113, 373-392.

Wadleigh, C. H., and Richards, L. A. 1951. In “Mineral Nutrition of Plants” (E.

Truog, ed.), pp. 411450. Univ. of Wisconsin Press, Madison.



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Improvement of the Sugar Beet in the United States

G. H . COONS. F. V . OWEN.



AND



DEWEY STEWART



Agricultural Research Seruice. U . S . Department of Agriculture.

Beltsuille. Maryland



CONTENTS

Page



I. Introduction

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

I1. The Development of the Sugar Beet in Europe . . . . . . . . 90

1. Early History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

2. The White Silesian Beet . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

3 . Vilmorin and the Sugar Beet . . . .

. . . . . . .

92

4 . Sugar Beet Breeding Establishments . . . . . . . . . . 94

5 . European Sugar Beet Breeding Methods . . . . . . . . . 94

I11. The Sugar Beet in the United States . . . . . . . . . . . 96

96

1. Early Attempts to Establish Beet Sugar Industry . . . . . .

96

2 . Beet Sugar Industry Becomes Established . . . . . . . .

3. The Sugar Beet Threatened by Disease and Insect Attack . . . 97

IV . Breeding for Disease Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

1. Resistance to Curly Top . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

2. Cercospora Leaf Spot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

a . Resistant Inbreds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

b. Resistant Varieties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106

c. New Sources of Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . 108

3. Downy Mildew and Rust Resistance, Nonbolting Tendency, Combined with Curly Top Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . 108

4. Black Root Resistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

a . Resistance to Disease Complex Found . . . . . . . . 111

b . Development of US 400 and Other Black-Root-Resistant

Varieties

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

5 . Varieties Combining Leaf Spot and Curly Top Resistance . . . 114

6. Contributions of the Breeding Program . . . . . . . . . 114

7 . Other Serious Disease Problems . . . . . . . . . . . 116

V . S.ugar Beet Improvement Entering New Era . . . . . . . . . 117

1. Basic Information Available to Breeders . . . . . . . . . 117

2. Polycross Method Applicable in Breeding Sugar Beets . . . . . 118

3. Application of Other Breeding Methods . . . . . . . . . 119

4 . Heterosis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

5. Male-Sterility in Sugar Beets . . . . .

. . . . . . 122

6. Monogerm Sugar Beets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

7. Bolting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

8. Polyploidy

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

VI . New Sources of Genes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

1. Cultivated Beets, Beta vulgaris L . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

89



90



G . H. COONS, F. V. O W E N , A N D DEWEY STEWART



Payr



2. Wild Species of Hefa . . . . . .

a. Beta maritirna L, . . . . . .

b. Other Species of Beta . . . . .

VII. The Future of Sugar Beet Breeding Research .



. . . . . . . 132

. . . . . . . . 132



. . . . . . . . 132

. . . . . . . . 134

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136



I. INTRODUCTION

The sugar beet, source plant of nearly 40 per cent of the world‘s

sugar, is the product of breeding research during the past century. In

this respect, it is almost unique among our food plants, since, for the

most part, these have come to us from primitive man with their presentday characteristics and uses. The history of sugar from the beet has a

span of but little more than two centuries, starting from the discovery,

in 1747, that the beet contains sucrose and the finding, about 50 years

later, of ways and means for its extraction and crystallization. A

chemist, Andreas Sigismund Marggraf ( 1747) , of the Royal Academy

of Science in Berlin, proved that the “white mangold,” probably Swiss

chard, the so-called sugar root (Siurn sisarium L., a relative of water

parsnip), and red mangold or red beet (called by Marggraf Beta rubra)

all contained a sugar identical with that from sugar cane, thereby

putting an end to the belief that sucrose was to be found only in the

tropicaI plant. Marggraf foresaw that a domestic manufacture of sugar

was a possibility, saying “This sweet salt, sugar, may be made as well

from our plants as from sugarcane.” But it was only after his death

that his student and successor in the Academy, Franz Karl Achard,

began his classic researches on the Runkelriibethe forage beet-that

were to establish the beet as an economic source of sugar. In 1799, King

Frederick William I11 of Prussia made a grant to Achard to capitalize

upon his years of investigation. For the first time, the name sugar beet

came into use. Lippmann (1925) has given a detailed, factual account

of Achard’s contribution; Tannenberg ( 1942) begins his dramatic story

of the early struggle between sugar cane and sugar beet with a very

complete account of Achard’s early researches in the Royal Academy

and his experiences at his little sugar beet factory in Silesia.

11. THEDEVELOPMENT

OF THE SUGARBEET IN EUROPE



1. Early History

The story of Achard, universally recognized as the father of the beet

sugar industry, and of his little sugar factory built in 1802 at Cunern,

near Steinau, in Lower Silesia, is typical of scientific pioneering. Skepti-



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