Start Date: Mar 11, 2008
End Date: Mar 06, 2013
Objective 1 A multidisciplinary approach combining traditional genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry will characterize variation among sugarbeet wild relatives and cultivated beets. Understanding the diversity within the NPGS Beta PI collection is necessary to both intelligently manage and utilize the germplasm stored in this collection. Understanding of the diversity contained in our commercial lines is necessary to most effectively introduce new diversity into them. Understanding the genetic variability of pathogen populations is extremely important to maintaining durable host plant resistance. The same classical and molecular tools will be used to gain the knowledge of genetic diversity in the pathogens, which is critical for selecting the number and pathotype of organisms to use in resistance screening. Objective 2 This multidisciplinary approach combining traditional genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry will be used for identification of key genes or proteins involved in the sugar beet pathogen interaction. Characterization using varied techniques provides a better understanding of plant defense against disease and identifies candidate genes and novel sources of resistance to move into sugar beet germplasm. Furthermore, this greater knowledge of sugar beet pathogen interaction opens up avenues for creating novel selection tools, including exploitation of polymorphisms and use of biomarkers. The same analyses can be used to understand and better manage pathogens of sugar beet, creating novel, more effective disease control strategies. Objective 3 The basis of the breeding program is the formation of long range breeding populations through the introgression of resistant germplasm from “exotic” sources of the primary Beta germplasm pool (Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima, fodder beet, table beet, Swiss chard, foreign sugar beet landraces from the PI collection, etc.). This breeding scheme provides great flexibility to accommodate the genetic background of the germplasm and the disease resistances being chosen. The development of breeding populations will be accomplished using methods that produce genetically defined sub populations, which are useful for resistance gene mapping, marker development, exploring sugarbeet-pathogen interactions, and gene discovery.