Submitted to: Annual Beet Sugar Development Foundation Research Report
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The genetics of agronomic traits in sugar beet are not well defined but a comprehensive understanding of these traits is crucial for effective breeding of improved cultivars in the 21st century. Current breeding approaches have been very successful in selecting for improved agronomic performance, however difficulties stem from the different levels of expression of a trait in changing environments, requiring extensive repetition of field selections to assure a trait has been fixed in a breeding line. To improve selection efficiency it would be desirable to use a common set of technologies based on the presence or absence of genes that control expression of a particular trait. We have been constructing sugar beet breeding populations that differ in specific traits in anticipation of using DNA markers to tag the specific regions of the sugar beet genome which contribute to an economically important trait. Current emphasis is on nusing randomly isolated expressed gene sequences as molecular markers, and assembling a collection of these into a genetic map. We are determining the genetic code (i.e. nucleotide sequence) for each of the expressed genes we use as molecular markers. Knowing the possible functions of a gene will allow an initial assessment about its role(s) in expression of agronomic traits. Merging and understanding of gene expression with trait and molecular marker inheritance is a powerful new paradigm towards understanding the underlying genetics of agronomic traits in sugarbeet.