Authors: TAMER ÜSTÜNER
Abstract: In this study, the effect of field dodder (Cuscuta campestris Yunck.) on the leaf and tuber yield of sugar beet fields in Kahramanmaraş Province of Turkey was investigated. Field dodder is known to spend its entire vegetation period as a parasite plant on its hosts after germinating from the soil. It causes significant yield and quality loss of many cultivated plants, including sugar beet. In this study, the influence of dodder on leaf chlorophyll a and b, total chlorophyll levels, leaf yield, wet and dry leaf weight, and leaf ash weight of sugar beet was investigated. For this purpose, two varieties of sugar beet (Valentina and 551) were cultivated in two growing areas as groups of infected and uninfected sugar beet. Sugar beet leaf numbers and associated hectare yield decreased considerably when the plants were infected with the parasite. Crop yield per hectare was calculated to be 79,573.9 kg/ha for uninfected plots while it was determined as 57,341.3 kg/ha for the infected ones. Average leaf yield (32,943.6 kg/ha for uninfected versus 18,451.4 kg/ha for infected), tuber sizes (28.116 × 8.244 cm for uninfected versus 18.984 × 6.269 cm for infected), the amounts of chlorophyll a (4.020 and 1.650 mg/g) and chlorophyll b (1.67 and 1.29 mg/g), and total chlorophyll values (5.69 and 2.94 mg/g) were all observed to decline when the crops were infected by field dodder.
Keywords: Total chlorophyll, chlorophyll a and b, Cuscuta campestris Yunck., sugar beet
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