Crop Biotech Update

Research to Increase Sugarbeet Disease Resistance

January 13, 2012

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture have developed a set of genetic markers for beet curly top virus that plant breeders could use in developing curly top-resistant sugarbeet varieties. They identified 11 genetic markers that were significantly associated with resistance to curly top. This development is one of a few research activities aimed to increase the yield of sugarbeet and produce varieties that are resistant to known diseases.

Scientists are also focusing efforts on the root disease called rhizomia which is caused by beet necrotic yellow vein virus. They discovered that beet varieties exhibiting the greatest resistance to rhizomania and good storability also had the highest sugar levels.

For more information view http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan12/beet0112.htm.