Beta maritima pp 121-151 | Cite as

Taxonomy, Phylogeny, and the Genepool

  • Lothar Frese
  • Brian Ford-LloydEmail author


The presence of conspecific and interfertile wild and cultivated forms impeded the development of a stable taxonomic system of wild beet species (genus Beta and Patellifolia) in the past. Further difficulties have been caused by the proliferation of synonyms and the confusion this has caused in the nomenclature, which was only slightly reduced after Linnaeus. The frequent errors in classification solely based on plant morphology are being reduced by studying the structures of genetic diversity with molecular genetic markers. Genetic markers as well as results from interspecific crossing experiments have helped revealing the past and ongoing evolutionary processes, as well as phylogenic relationships between taxa. Despite some unresolved taxonomic questions, wild beet plants can be determined and classified with sufficient reliability today which allowed categorizing the wild taxa into the primary, secondary, and tertiary genepool of the crop.


Beta maritima Taxonomy Genus Section Species Fingerprinting Phylogenetics Crop genepool 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BromsgroveUK

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