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ARS Home » Midwest Area » East Lansing, Michigan » Sugarbeet and Bean Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #297338

Research Project: Genetic Dissection of Traits for Sugar Beet Improvement

Location: Sugarbeet and Bean Research

Title: Sugar Beet, Energy Beet, and Industrial Beet

item Mcgrath, J Mitchell - Mitch
item Townsend, Belinda - Rothamsted Research

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2014
Publication Date: 5/22/2015
Citation: McGrath, J.M., Townsend, B.J. 2015. Sugar Beet, Energy Beet, and Industrial Beet. In: Cruz, V.M.V, Dierig, D.A., editors, Handbook of Plant Breeding. Volume 9. Industrial Crops: Breeding for Bioenergy and Bioproducts. New York, New York: Springer. p. 81-89.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) is a temperate root crop grown primarily as a source of sucrose for human diets. Breeding has focused on sucrose yield, which is simply the product of total root yield times the proportion of sucrose in the harvested roots, minus loss of sucrose in molasses due to impurities. Molasses is a source of betaine, which is recovered as a feed supplement. The non-sucrose dry matter (marc) is mostly cell wall material, which is used for fodder. Beet juice, molasses, or sucrose solutions are easily fermented into ethanol, while whole beets or pulp is being used for biogas production. Beets have potential as a bio-resource for additional industrial and chemical feedstocks. Sugar beet vinasse is rich in glutamate that may be economically converted and substituted for some high-value petrochemicals. Cell wall material is low in lignin and thus is readily saccharified and fermented, and may also serve as economical resources for monosaccharides for which novel polymers may be developed. Procedures for sugar beet breeding are directly applicable to breed beets for alternative and novel uses.