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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 69 No. 3, p. 347-350
    Received: Apr 29, 1976

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Differential Aluminum Tolerance of Sugarbeet Cultivars, as Evidenced by Anatomical Structure1

  1. M. Keser,
  2. Benedict F. Neubauer,
  3. F. E. Hutchinson and
  4. D. B. Verrill2



Early attempts to cultivate the sugarbeets (Beta vulgaris L.) in Maine were not successful due to large amounts of soluble Al in acid soils. The objectives of this study were to determine if a differential tolerance to Al exists among sugarbeet cultivars grown world-wide, and whether such tolerance could be detected in early stages of seedling growth by examination of morphological and anatomical structures.

All cultivars were grown in culture solutions of 0 and 4 ppm of Al at pH 4.8. Four parts per million was used because this concentration in culture solution was toxic to cultivar IS 922, a cultivar previously grown on a commercial basis in Maine. After 10 days growth, some cultivars exhibited more tolerance than others. This study concentrated on eight cultivars of the 116 originally tested. Cultivar IS 922 was used as the control; two cultivars were chosen for low tolerance, and five for their high tolerance to Al toxicity.

At 0 ppm of Al, all cultivars showed normal anatomical and morphological development. At 4 ppm of Al, the two most susceptible cultivars accumulated large amounts of aluminum phosphate. The meristematic zones of primary and lateral roots of these plants lost their normal pattern of organization and further growth appeared inhibited. Variability existed within each of the five cultivars chosen for their apparent tolerance, some plants accumulated aluminum phosphate and others did not.

This study indicated that differential tolerance to Al exists among sugarbeet cultivars, and among individual plants within the same cultivar. Tolerance can be determined at early developmental stages.

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