2013 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this cooperative research project is to obtain improved efficiency in the development and testing of new sugarcane varieties through exchange and evaluation of germplasm (vegetative sets) and sugarcane management information with the ultimate goal of releasing new, higher-yielding, pest-resistant sugarcane varieties and identifying agronomic and pest management practices to insure sustainable sugarcane production.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Through the duration of this agreement, ARS and the Cooperator will exchange vegetative material of sugarcane germplasm consisting of experimental breeding lines and elite varieties for testing and evaluation for specific traits of interest or as commercial cultivars and identify cooperative agronomic and disease and insect management research that has applicability to the two countries.
ARS scientist at the Sugarcane Research Unit in Houma, LA, and Chinese sugarcane breeders completed a diversity and population structure study using microsatellite deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) markers. The study consisted of 96 varieties (germplasm and released cultivars), including 13 from the USA. Based on taxonomy, geographical origin, pedigree, and microsatellite DNA fingerprints, the 96 varieties were divided into five groups. Groups 1, 2, 4, and 5 consisted of cultivars only and Group 3 contained wild germplasm. There were 46 cultivars in Group 2, predominantly from Australia, China, Taiwan, India, and the USA. Cultivars in Groups 1, 4, and 5 originated from China Mainland. Genetic differences were observed among clones of different origins. The “Yacheng” introgression lines derived from a native, wild Chinese species (Saccharum spontaneum) played a major role in broadening the genetic base of Chinese sugarcane cultivars. The ultimate goal of this exchange is to release new, higher-yielding, pest-resistant sugarcane varieties. No shipment of sugarcane clones were made during the reporting period. ARS researchers will pursue the exchange of germplasm of interest, when available.