Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 18, 2004
Publication Date: June 30, 2004
Citation: Veremis, J.C., Viator, R.P., Tew, T.L. 2004. Ratooning ability and stalk tolerance to freezing temperatures among F1 hybrids involving Saccharum spontaneum and commercial-type sugarcane [abstract]. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 24:122. Available: http://www.assct.org/journal/journal.htm. Technical Abstract: Post-freeze ratooning ability and stalk tolerance were examined in clones of Saccharum officinarum, S. spontaneum, interspecific F1 hybrids and commercial-type sugarcane. Ratooning ability of wild and commercial-type clones was evaluated by comparing stubble in 15 cm pots either exposed to -5°C for 22 days or not. Stubble clones not exposed to freezing temperatures survived and tillered based on shoot counts 30 days after exposure, but only F1 hybrids from clone SES 234 (S. spontaneum) X LCP85-384 and TUCP77-42 tillered after exposure to the freeze treatment. The interspecific progeny of LA Stripe (S. officinarum) X SES147B (S. spontaneum), Badila (S. officinarum), and commercial clones, LCP85-384 and HoCP91-555, did not survive the freeze treatment. To determine stalk tolerance to freezing temperatures, we harvested stalks of LCP85-384, HoCP96-540, TUCP77-42 and nine F1 hybrids of SES 234 X LCP85-384 from a field location that survived the mild winter of 2003-2004. Fifteen stalks were exposed to -5°C for either none, one, four or eight days. Seventy-two eye pieces per clone were planted, and germination rates were determined after 14 days. After the one-day exposure, three hybrids of SES 234 X LCP85-384 had germination rates of 83 to 97% compared to 55% and 18% for LCP85-384 and TUCP77-42, respectively. After the four-day exposure, two of these same clones had 33% germination compared to 1% for LCP85-384 and 0% for TUC77-42. Furthermore, juice quality analysis of the stalks from the same bioassay showed differences in brix, acidity and post-harvest deterioration among the interspecific F1 hybrids. Identification of cold tolerance using bioassays early in the breeding program should result in the release of commercial varieties with improved tolerance to the cold temperatures typically encountered during the winter months in Louisiana.