Start Date: Jan 01, 2011
End Date: Dec 31, 2015
The USDA-ARS NPGS has an extensive collection of germplasm collected from the coast of Italy. Collaborative efforts with Dr. Enrico Biancardi, Prof. Massimo Saccomani, and Dr. Piergiorgio Stevanato, the foremost world experts in the life history of sea beet (Beta vulgaris subspecies maritima), have been initiated. We would work together to identify areas where NPGS collectors have collected sea beet germplasm, and measure population traits. These traits in sea beet would be compared with cultivated sugar beet and other domestic beets (table, fodder, Swiss chard) by both ARS and Italian researchers. Once phenotypic changes through domestication have been identified sea beet and domestic beet would be crossed to provide populations for genetic and genomic analyses. The gene and genomic changes brought about by the domestication process will be examined.