For years, the sugarbeet crop has been a fundamental source of income for the sugar industry and its farmers. Advances in breeding continue to give the crop a competitive position. The successful development of the crop has been marked by continuous yield increases, contributions to cost savings operations and increased tolerance against the devastating effects of pests and diseases.

One major achievement of plant breeding in sugarbeets has been the development of varieties tolerant to Rhizomania, a viral disease caused by Beet Necrotic Yellow Vein Virus (BNYVV). This root disease is transmitted to sugarbeet plants by a soil-born parasite called Polymyxa betae. Since the 1970s, this disease has spread rapidly all over the sugarbeet growing world. Seedex, Inc. has been a major contributor working to manage the disease.

Still, constant evolution of the this disease means a new pathotype is emerging. It has the potential to create severe and devastating problems in commercial varieties, even those equipped with current genetic resistances.

The onset of this new pathotype requires a new breed of resistant genetics. Thankfully, the research of Seedex, Inc. offers a solution. Seedex, Inc. is proud to present Tandem Technology®, a first generation resistance against Rhizomania and other crop diseases.

Disease management faces more challenges than just the mutation and evolution of crop parasites and disease. A dynamic and often tumultuous political, economical and biological environment may shape the way in which all diseases are managed. However, plant breeding continues to provide high benefits to farmers with a low impact on the local ecology.

Marc Meulemans
Plant Breeder
Seedex, Inc.


1. Introduction, Domestic Rhizomania, Geographical Distribution, and Epidemiology
2. Symptoms and Economic Impact
3. Disease Control and Resistant Gene Management
4. Summary

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