Next 3 and 4 October, the centenary of the Rovigo Sugar Beet Research Station will be celebrated, which was likely the first official research centre devoted only to this crop. Lee Panella, Marco De Biaggi, Mitch McGrath, Bruno Desprez, and Britta Schultz will attend as invited speakers (see the web site https://sites.google.com/site/centenary19142014/home
Part of the starting genetic material came from hybrids with Beta maritima taken by Munerati from the Po Delta in the summer of 1908. By 1925, several lines resistant to cercospora leaf spot had been selected, but still carrying some negative traits of the wild parent. In 1935, improved lines including RO 581, were sent to the United States where they permitted a substantial improvement in sugar yield in conditions of severe attack. As it is well known, no other source of cercospora resistance is currently available.
The damage from rhizomania, surely the most dangerous and widespread disease of sugar beet, can only be reduced ...