Field experiments were conducted in northern Greece during 2001 and repeated in 2002 and 2004 to evaluate the effects of pronamide on sugar beet. Total leaf area, leaf area index (LAI), leaf and root dry weights, photosynthetic yield (quantum yield of photochemical energy conversion in photosystem II), chlorotic index, and yield components of sugar beet were monitored after pronamide application. Three sugar beet cultivars, ‘Avantage’, ‘Dorothea’, and ‘Bianca’, requiring short, intermediate, and long vegetative periods, respectively, were subjected to treatment. Pronamide was applied on sugar beet either as a double application of 0.63 kg ai ha−1 at the two- to four-leaf and 0.63 kg ai ha−1 at the four- to six-leaf stage or as a single application of 1.26 kg ai ha−1 performed at the latter leaf stage. Both application procedures were combined with a split application of phenmedipham at 0.04 kg ai ha−1 plus desmedipham at 0.04 kg ai ha−1 plus metamitron at 0.70 kg ai ha−1 plus ethofumesate at 0.10 kg ai ha−1 plus mineral oil at 0.50 L ha−1 applied POST at the cotyledon–to–two-leaf as well as at the four-leaf growth stages. Pronamide (both single and double application) initially caused chlorosis and reduction of sugar beet growth. LAI and photosynthetic yield were also significantly affected for a 2-mo period following the final application, after which the negative effects caused by pronamide were ameliorated. At harvest, sugar beet root and sugar yield, sucrose, K , Na , and N-amino acid concentrations were not affected by the herbicide treatments compared with those produced in weed-free and herbicide-free plots, indicating that all cultivars managed to overcome the transient pronamide stress. Regarding sugar beet cultivars, root and sugar yield of Avantage and Dorothea at harvest were higher than that of Bianca, whereas sucrose concentration of Avantage was the lowest. There was not an apparent relationship between the order of sugar yield per cultivar (Dorothea > Avantage > Bianca) and the length of the vegetative period (Avantage < Dorothea < Bianca).
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Vol. 56 • No. 3