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Genetic engineering of sugar beet



Genetic engineering of sugar beet



Zuckerindustrie 117(10): 797-800



Current possibilities for improving sugarbeet quality and processability are described with reference to reducing betaine impurities (which necessitates the inhibition of the enzyme betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase), increasing the sucrose content (e.g. by manipulating sucrose transport or storage mechanisms; successes with carbohydrate manipulation in other crops are briefly outlined) and producing new products from beet, for example polyhydroxybutyrate, a biodegradable plastic which is currently being derived by the costly process of bacterial fermentation. The problem of public acceptance of genetically engineered products is broached. The costs, lead time and risks of genetic engineering projects are such that only beet processors can carry out research needed to improve beet processing characteristics.

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