Beta maritima: The Origin of Beets

Published in the April 2012 Issue Published online: Apr 13, 2012
"The book Beta maritima: The Origin of Beets is available at Springer publishing and also on Amazon.
The book Beta maritima: The Origin of Beets is available at Springer publishing and also on Amazon.

Often our publication, Sugar Producer includes announcements and notices or summaries of events, research, and items that are of interest to the sugarbeet industry.

Recently a book that relates to the sugarbeet was published entitled Beta maritima: The Origin of Beets.

We have a brief introduction to this timely book and information on where to purchase, or view an abstract. The publisher is Springer and written by Dr. Enrico Biancardi, Dr. Lee Panella and Dr. Robert T. Lewellen.

Lewellen explains, "Because sugarbeet is the most important crop selected from Beta maritima, the book has a strong emphasis on sugarbeet. Chapters include the history of Beta species and cultivated beets from ancient times to the present and the continuing importance of Beta maritima as a source of germplasm."

A quote from the book summary reads, "Indeed, as with several crop wild relatives, Beta maritima has been successfully used to improve cultivated beet's genetic resistances against many diseases and pests. In fact, sugarbeet cultivation currently would be impossible in many countries without the recovery of traits preserved in the wild germplasm."

Lewellen goes on to say, "this book, Beta maritima, Origin of Beets, will be a great and lasting reference to Beta maritima and the development of beet crops from it. Not only is Beta maritima the source from which beets were domesticated, it has a great importance in the economic future of the sugarbeet crop.

"For example, the genes now widely used for resistance to rhizomania and sugarbeet cyst nematode were only recently found and introgressed into commercial sugarbeet hybrids used throughout the world."