2012 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To establish a general framework for cooperation and coordination between the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service (ARS), and the Beet Sugar Development Foundation (BSDF). This Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement (NFCA) defines in general terms the basis for which the Parties will cooperate. Individual projects may be developed between the Parties which outline specific research projects.
The Parties have a long history of collaborative research on the sugar beet, which formally began in the 1940's under a Memorandum of Understanding. This collaboration has been, and continues to be, a vital, synergistic relationship wherein ARS scientists are able to expand their sugar beet research capacity through their relationship with BSDF and its Members, and the BSDF and its Members are engaged in collaborative opportunities with ARS sugar beet scientists.
The Parties share an interest in the accomplishment of sound research and development in sugar beet, including as key components, research in genetic resource management, genomic characterization and genetic improvement, biological disease control, and host plant resistance to disease; as well as the dedication to the advancement of sugar beet production and beet sugar processing through science based research and leading educational programs. The Parties also share an interest in the development and distribution of disease-resistant, enhanced germplasm with high agronomic performance; as well as traditional and innovative approaches for crop improvement, to more effectively meet the changing needs of seed companies and the growers they serve, leading to increased efficiency of production while preserving the environment and promoting sustainability.
This will be a joint effort between ARS, who is conducting research on the production of sucrose and other products from sugar beet and BSDF, who is dedicated to the advancement of sugar beet production and beet sugar processing through science based research and leading educational programs
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
ARS is actively conducting research on the sugar beet, sugar beet production and extraction of beet sugar and other by-products. The BSDF, composed of most of the sugar beet seed companies, processors, grower-owned cooperatives, and suppliers in the United States, desires to provide direct and indirect research support to ARS. It is in the interest of both parties to continue their close working relationship so that research can be better directed toward meeting the needs of the United States and other nations, and can be more expeditiously accomplished at less cost.
ARS and BSDF will work together to produce the highest quality basic and applied research to meet the changing demands of the sugar beet world market, and its customers and stakeholders by:
1. Promoting sugar beet research concerning the isolation of specific genes and the development of germplasm, which may be used effectively in breeding to develop hybrids and varieties that are resistant to various pathogens, regionally adapted, suitable for various cultural practices, superior in biochemical attributes, and storable with minimum deterioration.
2. Establishing technology whereby new genetic characters, inbred lines, or sugar beet germplasm established via ARS research may be brought into widespread use by breeders and growers promptly, efficiently and at less cost.
3. Promoting research to develop better disease management, through an increased understanding of sugar beet disease etiology and epidemiology and an elucidation of genetics of the sugar beet-pathogen-biocontrol agent interaction.
4. Increasing the understanding of the genetic and physiological basis of the development of the sugar beet plant, the storage of the harvested root, and the extraction of sucrose from the beet to be better able to maximize the efficiency in the processing of sugar beet to sucrose and other products.
5. Evaluating, characterizing, and utilizing available genetic resources (esp., in the USDA-ARS NPGS Beta PI germplasm collection) to determine the genetic diversity within sugar beet and pathogen populations, to better understand and manage important pathogens of sugar beet, and to produce enhanced germplasm more rapidly and more efficiently to meet the changing needs of seed companies and the growers they serve.
This agreement supports all five objectives of the in-house project as the Beet Sugar Development Foundation (BSDF) cooperates with Kimberly, Idaho, ARS scientists to screen cultivars, germplasm lines, and plant introduction lines for resistance to curly top, rhizomania, and Rhizoctonia-bacterial root rot. Through this agreement, 1,722 plots were evaluated for resistance to curly top, 934 plots were evaluated for rhizomania resistance, and 624 plots were evaluated for resistance to the Rhizoctonia-bacterial root rot complex. The curly top epiphytotic was created through the release of viruliferous beet leafhoppers, while the rhizomania nursery relied on natural inoculum in the soil for disease pressure. The Rhizoctonia-bacterial root rot plots were inoculated with Rhizoctonia solani and relied on natural populations of Leuconostoc for bacterial rot. The plots were visually scored to identify resistant and susceptible plants. Reports identifying the response of the nursery entries were provided to the cooperators. The results from commercial cultivars were published as part of the Cultivar Performance Guide for the Amalgamated Sugar Company which is a cooperative effort between the ARS scientists and BSDF, Amalgamated, and University of Idaho personnel. The results from some of the entries have also been published as Plant Disease Management Reports. These efforts will allow geneticists to improve curly top, rhizomania, and root rot resistance found in commercial sugarbeet cultivars, thereby increasing yield and profits for the sugarbeet industry.