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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Research Project #431210

Research Project: Evaluating and Incorporating Resistance to Important Diseases and Pests Beta from Crop Wild Relatives

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Project Number: 3012-21220-010-001-G
Project Type: Grant

Start Date: Jul 1, 2016
End Date: Jun 30, 2022

Increased host-plant resistant sources or alternative sources of resistance are needed against important sugar beet diseases including root maggot, root aphid, beet cyst nematode, rhizomania, Rhizoctonia crown and root rot, root rotting complex, curly top virus, Beet Western and other yellowing viruses, and Cercospora leaf-spot. The Sugar Beet Crop Germplasm Committee (CGC) has coordinated evaluations in these areas in the past, and is currently evaluating 20-30 Pl accessions with funding from NPGS, which was received last year. If the U.S. sugar industry is going to remain competitive in the face of global competition, it is paramount that the genetic resources available in our USDA-ARS NPGS be exploited for resistance to these pests and diseases, and used to form an expanded germplasm base in commercial varieties. Cultivated beets and crop wild relatives from the USDA-ARS National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) will be screened and incorporated into germplasm enhanced for resistance to important sugar beet diseases.

Crop wild relatives, especially Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima (sea beet), are a useful genetic resource for improvement of the sugar beet crop. Researchers with expertise in screening germplasm for resistance to these diseases will work with the Beet Sugar Development Foundation (BSDF) to use the appropriate tests to evaluate accessions from the NPGS Beta Collection. Resistance to the root rotting complex, and sugar beet root maggot will be evaluated in replicated field trials. Resistance to sugarbeet root aphid, and sugarbeet cyst nematode will be evaluated in replicated greenhouse trials. The data will be collected by the BSDF and forwarded to the Sugarbeet Crop Germplasm Committee Chairperson, who will see that they are entered in the GRIN system. These data will allow USDA-ARS researchers to incorporate these new resistance genes into their pre-breeding programs.