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ARS Home » Midwest Area » East Lansing, Michigan » Sugarbeet and Bean Research » Research » Research Project #444823

Research Project: Sugar Beet Genetics and Pathogen Interactions

Location: Sugarbeet and Bean Research

Project Number: 5050-21220-017-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Feb 21, 2023
End Date: Feb 20, 2028

Objective 1: Expand, characterize, and elucidate the genetics, genomics, and host interactions of fungal collections of Rhizoctonia, Fusarium, and other sugar beet pathogens to identify disease resistance and fungicide resistance. Sub-objective 1.A: Characterize genetic, genomic, and phenotypic diversity in sugar beet fungal pathogens. Sub-objective 1.B: Assess host range and host-pathogen interactions of sugar beet pathogens, concentrating on those of high priority to the Great Lakes, such as Rhizoctonia solani and including emerging pathogens, such as Alternaria alternata and Fusarium. Sub-objective 1.C: Examine potential disease management practices for disease important in the humid Great Lakes region and beyond. Goal is to identify additional management tools for sugar beet diseases. Objective 2: Elucidate the genetics and genomics of sugar beet and develop improved genetic material with traits associated with disease and other stress resistance, nutrition, and geographic adaptation. Sub-objective 2A: Assess variability in nitrogen use (NU) among Beta vulgaris forms and genotypes for molecular marker development based on N content and root weight after low, high and maximum N application. Sub-objective 2B: Evaluate differences in phyllosphere composition of a Cercospora mildly resistant and highly sensitive sugar beet to identify host-specific microbial community differences contributing to disease resistance. Sub-objective 2C: Assess beet germplasm for variability in response to early drought stress and identify genomic regions associated with increased tolerance of seedling drought. (RPN) with a goal to identify differences in drought response. Objective 3: Develop and adapt tools and biological material to improve assessment of sugar beet growth, development, disease response, and maintenance in storage. Subobjective 3A: Develop methods and techniques for assessment of sugar beet growth, development and health. Subobjective 3B: Develop and adapt biological material to improve assessment of sugar beet disease response and maintenance in storage. Subobjective 3C: Develop detection and monitoring techniques for beet quality after harvest and during storage.

1) Develop and utilize genetic markers and other genetic information for enhanced understanding of Rhizoctonia solani and other plant pathogenic fungi. Characterize host-pathogen, host-pathogen-pathogen interactions and host developmental stages that influence disease progression. 2) Explore disease resistance and stress-germination genes in sugarbeet and related germplasm. Develop additional genetic populations and enhanced germplasm for release. 3) Develop image-based assessment tools for evaluating disease severity and sugar beet growth and development. Adapt tools and techniques for monitoring material during postharvest storage.