Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2010
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Citation: McGrath, J.M., Panella, L.W., Frese, L. 2011. Beta. In: Kole, Chittaranjan, editor. Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources Industrial Crops. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. p. 1-28. Technical Abstract: This chapter covers the use of wild beets in sugar beet improvement, including the basic botany of the species, its distribution; geographical locations of genetic diversity; morphology; cytology and karyotype; genome size; taxonomic position; agricultural status (model plant/weeds/invasive species/tribal use). Efforts to conserve and utilize germplasm are described including evaluation of genetic erosion; attempts of in situ and ex situ conservation; germplasm banks; and modes of preservation and maintenance. The role of wild beets in crop improvement through traditional and advanced tools is summarized, including traditional and molecular breeding efforts, introgression of donor genes/cytoplasm through interspecific/intergeneric crosses, heterosis breeding, somatic hybridization and genetic transformation. The current status of genome efforts in beets is also summarized.