Submitted to: American Society of Sugarbeet Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Dogma holds that phenotype = genotype + environment; DNA makes RNA makes protein; and form follows function. What does this mean? The beet's work is accomplished in large part by proteins, these proteins (i.e. gene products) are inherited from the parents, and expression of genes is influenced by environment (and also development). By understanding what beet proteins are active when and where, and these can be deduced from beet gene sequences whose function can be inferred from other well-characterized proteins, we can begin to build a conceptual framework for the types of work that the beet's proteins must accomplish in order to be profitable to growers and industry. This report considers the progress in creating the tools that will enable such a framework. These prerequisites encompass everything you wanted to know about the inner workings of beets but were afraid to ask. For instance, as of June 2002, over 2,800 Expressed Sequence Tags (ca. 10% of genes in beet) are available, building a 5-fold coverage large insert library of the beet genome is underway, and thousands of Recombinant Inbred Lines are being developed. These efforts have and will continue to require close cooperation among ARS scientists as well as colleagues in industry and academia. These tools are freely available as they leave the assembly line, and will likely remain so in the future. Already, problems previously considered intractable are beginning to yield insight upon application of these tools. Progress is likely to accelerate in the future, as these genomic investments are leveraged with scientific expertise inside and outside of the sugar beet community.