Researchers sequence and analyse sugar beet genome

Posted on December 20, 2013
sugar beet

Sugar beet field, canton of Bern, Switzerland. Credit: Volker Prasuhn/Wikipedia
A study published in Nature today describes the sugar beet reference genome sequence generated by researchers both from the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics and the University of Bielefeld, in cooperation with other centres and plant breeders.

Sugar beet accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s annual sugar production, according to FAO, and provides a source for bioethanol and animal feed.

The sugar beet genome sequence provides insights into how the genome has been shaped by artificial selection along time.

What do foodstuff like muffins, bread or tomato sauce have in common? They all contain different amounts of white refined sugar. But, what perhaps may result amazing is that this sugar is probably sourced from a plant very similar to spinach or chard, but much sweeter: the sugar beet. In fact, this plant accounts for nearly 30% of the world’s annual sugar production, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations (FAO). Not in vain for the last 200 years, has it been a crop plant in cultivation all around the world because of its powerful sweetener property.

Read more at: Phys.org