University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Logo BOKU Resarch Portal

Molecular analysis of beet crop diversification

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

Further information:

Dohm Juliane, Sub Projectleader
Wascher Felix Leopold, Project Staff
Holzweber Thomas, Project Staff
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Computational Biology
Funded by
Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF) , Sensengasse 1, 1090 Wien, Austria
Domestication and diversification are the driving forces to generate the wide variety of currently available crop plants. Diversification of cultivated beets has resulted in four cultivar groups of very different phenotypes, i.e. leaf beets (chard), fodder beet, table beet, and sugar beet. The proposed research will address the question if domestication of beet crops occurred only once or multiple times. It will be investigated how the genomes of the different beet crops are related to each other. We will aim for the identification of diversification genes in order to understand the molecular basis of the phenotypic difference of the cultivar groups. To address theses goals, we will comprehensively search for genomic regions under artificial selection in beet crops. Whole-genome sequencing data will be generated, followed by an analysis of the data using cultivar-specific reference genomes (existing or newly prepared) and statistical interpretation of population differentiation. High-resolution mapping and subsequent characterization of genes will be performed to nominate candidate genes that are crucial for the diversification of beet cultivar groups. In summary, CultiBeet will create important knowledge on the domestication history of beets and will identify the pivotal genes which are involved in beet crop diversification. The experimental setup and computational analyses may serve as a general paradigm for crop diversification studies.

Primary researchers involved
The project will be jointly led by Ass. Prof. Dr. Juliane Dohm and Prof. Dr. Heinz Himmelbauer.
Bioinformatics; Evolutionary research; Genomics; Plant breeding;
© BOKU Wien Imprint