History and Current Importance

  • Enrico Biancardi
  • Leonard W. Panella
  • Robert T. Lewellen


Sea beet is known from prehistory for food and above all for medicinal uses. After domestication, beet became more and more important, especially after its most recent use as a sugar crop. But also the cultivation for leaves and root to be used as vegetables and cattle feed retains its economic value. Beta maritima has become crucial as source of useful traits, which disappeared in the crop during domestication. This research, which has led to important results, especially in the field of resistances to severe diseases, continues today. The activity of some involved scientists is recounted. An increasing amount of publications are dedicated to sea beet because the species also fits well into studies concerning population genetics, natural breeding systems, colonization, speciation, gene flow, etc.


History of sea beet Crop evolution Beta maritima ­history Domestication Origins of sea beet Researchers involved 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Biancardi
    • 1
  • Leonard W. Panella
    • 2
  • Robert T. Lewellen
    • 3
  1. 1.Rovigo StationConsiglio per la Ricerca e la Sperimentazione in Agricoltura (CRA)RomeItaly
  2. 2.Crop Research LaboratoryUSDA-ARSFort CollinsUSA
  3. 3.Crop Improvement & Protection Research UnitUSDA-ARSSalinasUSA

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