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ARS Home » Midwest Area » East Lansing, Michigan » Sugarbeet and Bean Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #281094

Title: Evaluation of genetic diversity and root traits of sea beet accessions of the Adriatic Sea coast

item STEVANATO, PIERGIORGIO - University Of Padua
item TREBBI, DANIELE - University Of Padua
item BIANCARDI, ENRICO - National Council Of Agricultural Research (CRA)
item CACCO, GIOVANNI - University Of Padua
item McGrath, Jon
item SACCOMANI, MASSIMO - University Of Padua

Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/3/2012
Publication Date: 8/19/2012
Citation: Stevanato, P., Trebbi, D., Biancardi, E., Cacco, G., McGrath, J.M., Saccomani, M. 2012. Evaluation of genetic diversity and root traits of sea beet accessions of the Adriatic Sea coast. Euphytica. 189:135-146.

Interpretive Summary: Sugar beet varieties are affected by their selection history from their humble beginnings as wild beets. During this process, gains in productivity were certainly made, but also some beneficial traits may have been randomly lost through processes such as genetic drift. Some lost traits of potential imporatance are those by which wild beet efficiently capture nutrients from the soil, and wild germplasm was evaluated for such traits as number of root tips and relative growth rate. Genetic variablity was found for these and other traits, suggesting cultivated beets can be enhanced for better nutrient use efficiencies and thus better productivity with less fertilizer application. The better wild beets will be crossed with sugar beet and this germplasm may lead to new low-input, high-productivity varieties in the future.

Technical Abstract: Thirty nine sea beet [Beta vulgaris L. subsp. maritima (L.) Arcang.] accessions of the Adriatic coast were screened genetically and for their adaptive morpho-functional root traits in order to identify new sources of abiotic resistances for sugar beet breeding programs. Genetic diversity was evaluated with 21 microsatellites markers that identified 44 polymorphic alleles. Sea beets grouped into two main clusters: the West and the East Adriatic coast groups, with the latter 8 showing higher genetic diversity. Among sea beet accessions with desirable root traits, four accessions have proved to be interesting for sugar beet [Beta vulgaris (L.) subsp. vulgaris] breeding aimed to improve tolerance to nutritional stresses. Lastovo (ID 29) and Zut (ID 34) accessions were characterized by the highest values of RER, TRL, FRL and RSA still maintaining a high value of RTD, while Grado (ID 21) an Portic (ID 23) accessions were characterized by the highest RTD, but with low values of RER, TRL, FRL and RSA parameters.