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Genomic signatures in wild and cultivated beets caused by natural and artificial selection and gene flow

Project Leader
Himmelbauer Heinz, Project Leader
Type of Research
Basic Research

Further information:

BOKU Research Units
Institute of Computational Biology
Funded by
Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) is an important crop plant in Austria. Three million tons of sugar beets are harvested each year, sufficient to meet Austria┬┤s yearly demand for sucrose. In the context of BeetSelect, we propose whole-genome sequencing of 500 wild and cultivated beets in order to fully characterize the genetic variation of beets at the molecular level. In the sugar beet genome, we will identify artificially selected genes, i.e. domestication genes, at single-gene resolution. Sequencing data from sea beet, regarded as the ancestor of all beet crops, will reveal inter-population gene flow and will identify genes under natural selection. Rapidly evolving are those genes that allow sea beets to cope with biotic or abiotic stress; the corresponding resistances are frequently not found in sugar beets. Taken together, the proposed work will provide a very accurate picture of the genome architecture of beets. The data will help to understand how artificial and natural selection has shaped the beet genome, which regions are affected by selection, and which genes they contain. Lastly, molecular information on genes underlying selection will provide important information for designing informed breeding strategies for targeted improvement of beet crops.
Bioinformatics; General biology; Genetics; Genomics;
bioinformatics; domestication; high-troughput sequencing; intraspecific diversity; crop plant;
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