Plant Breeding Institute

Genetic analysis of leaf spot resistance in species of the genus Beta

Genetic analysis of leaf spot resistance in species of the genus Beta




Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and its fungal pathogen Cercospora beticola provide an informative model system to study the impact of domestication, intensive crop cultivation and fungicide applications on the evolution of plant pathogens. This pathogen is important in beet production worldwide and fungicide resistance is a growing concern. B. vulgaris was domesticated in Germany approximately 200 years ago and is cultivated world-wide for sugar production. Leaf spot disease, as caused by C. beticola, is also a common pathogen of the wild progenitor of sugar beet, B. vulgaris ssp. maritima. The impact of host domestication on plant resistance and pathogen virulence can be studied in a comparative framework of wild and agricultural host-pathogen systems.


  • Dissect the genetics of C. beticola resistance in wild and cultivated beet species (QTL-, association mapping)
  • Clone and functionally analyze candidate genes from the QTL


The project started March 2020. A core diversity set of 350 wild and cultivated Beta accessions has been assembled and will be grown under field conditions. Resistance and other phenotypic characters will be determined. Accessions will be sequenced for performing genome wide association mapping.

Project team

  • MSc Amar Singh Dhiman
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Jung
  • Monika Bruisch

Scientific Partners

  • Prof. Dr. Eva Stukenbrock with MSc Demetris Taliadoros (Environmental Genomics, Botanical Institute Christian-Albrechts-Universität of Kiel & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön)
  • Prof. Dr. Mark Varrelmann and Prof. Dr. Ann-Kathrin Mahlein, Institute of Sugar Beet Research, Göttingen

Financial Support

Funding has been provided by the German Research Foundation in the frame of the research training group TRANSLATIONAL EVOLUTIONARY RESEARCH, tandem project 2: evolution of sugar beet and its associated pathogens: implications for plant breeding and disease control



Updated: April 7, 2020              Responsible for this webpage: Amar Singh Dhiman