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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #291913

Title: Molecular technology for developing durable resistance to the sugar beet root maggot (Tetanops myopaeformis)

item Li, Haiyan
item Smigocki, Anna

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/8/2013
Publication Date: 4/4/2013
Citation: Li, H., Smigocki, A.C. 2013. Molecular technology for developing durable resistance to the sugar beet root maggot (Tetanops myopaeformis). American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Sugar beet is an important crop for sugar production, providing up to half of all sugar consumed in the US and the world. This economically important plant is attacked by more than 150 species of insects that damage the plant and reduce sugar yields. Improvement of sugar beet using biotechnology will make the plants more resistant to insect attack and increase sugar yields. To develop environmentally sound strategies for improved resistance, we are studying the interaction of resistant and susceptible sugar beet roots with the root maggot, a destructive insect pest of sugar beet. We prepared root maggot libraries that are enriched for induced or suppressed insect responses (genes) following feeding on sugar beet roots. These responses are being characterized to gain a better understanding of the fundamental mechanisms involved in maggot infestations of sugar beet roots. Scientists will use this information to develop safer approaches of insect control in plants leading to increased yields and reduced usage of chemical pesticides.

Technical Abstract: Sugar beet root maggot (SBRM), Tetanops myopaeformis von Röder, is a major economic insect pest of sugar beet in North America. While several moderately resistant breeding lines have recently been registered, they do not offer complete control. A significant amount of knowledge about how plants protect themselves against insect invasion is being provided by advances being made in bioinformatics and functional genomics, however, complementary molecular studies on insect adaptive mechanisms used to overcome host resistance and develop tolerance to many insecticides are lacking. This study was initiated to establish a transcriptomic profile of SBRM genes and to identify physiologically valuable genes that can serve as targets for bio-insecticides and RNA interference mediated pest control. PCR-select suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) was used to produce an annotated SBRM EST dataset as a reference point for genes whose expression is modulated by interactions with resistant or susceptible sugar beet roots. This data will provide new insights into the molecular response elicited by SBRM in interactions with sugar beet roots and will advance the development of novel approaches for more effective SBRM control.