Submitted to: Sugar Y Azucar
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2000
Publication Date: June 15, 2000
Citation: Pan, Y., Burner, D.M., Grisham, M.P., Legendre, B.L., Wei, Q. 2000. Current status on biotechnology research at Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, Louisiana [abstract]. Sugar Y Azucar. 95(6):17. Technical Abstract: The objectives of the biotech program at Sugarcane Research Unit, Houma, LA are threefold: nucleic acid-based disease diagnosis; molecular marker assisted breeding; and sugarcane transformation. PCR protocols for specific detection of the bacteria that cause sugarcane leaf scald and ratoon stunting diseases were developed. RT-PCR procedures were adopted to test for the strains of sugarcane and sorghum mosaic and sugarcane yellow leaf viruses. Three DNA markers including Eri3/Eri4, Gig1/P2 and OPA-11-366 have been identified that are species specific. In 1999, the marker OPA-11-366 was used to confirm the selection of 10 interspecific F1 hybrids for further genetic improvement through backcrosses. Another useful marker system, microsatellite or Simple Sequence Repeats, is being evaluated on Louisiana varieties. Progress has also been made on sugarcane transformation. Embryogenic callus tissue is being produced routinely. A biolistic gene gun is being used to deliver into sugarcane tissue gene constructs that offer resistance to a particular herbicide or infection by sugarcane mosaic virus H strain. Potentially transformed sugarcane seedlings that were regenerated on selective media are being screened. Success of the transformation project will lead to the development of sugarcane genotypes that could have a significant impact on the sugarcane breeding program in the future. Overall, biotechnology research has already begun to yield dividends, especially in the area of disease diagnosis and marker-assisted selection. However, the impact of transgenic sugarcane has yet been realized.