Location: Sugarcane Research Unit
Title: Registration of two sugarcane germplasm clones with antibiosis to the sugarcane borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) Authors
Submitted to: Journal of Plant Registrations
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 19, 2010
Publication Date: May 20, 2011
Citation: White, W.H., Hale, A.L., Veremis, J.C., Tew, T.L., Richard Jr, E.P. 2011. Registration of two sugarcane germplasm clones with antibiosis to the sugarcane borer (Lepidoptera: Crambidae). Journal of Plant Registrations. 5(2):248-253. Interpretive Summary: Growing crops resistant to destructive insect pests can be an ecologically and economically sound approach to minimizing the impact that insects have on their crop-host plants. For sugarcane, resistance to stem boring pests is most often associated with high fiber levels. Stem borer resistant sugarcane varieties are often times higher in fiber than susceptible counterparts. Sugarcane varieties with high fiber are more difficult to extract juice from because the fiber acts as a sponge and consequently these varieties produce lower sugar yields. We have identified two new sugarcane breeding lines, Ho 08-9001 and Ho 08-9003 that have a novel means of providing resistance to the stem borer attaching sugarcane in the US. These two sugarcane lines possess a resistance trait that causes the stem borer caterpillars to grow at a slower rate and therefore cause less damage to the sugarcane plant. Yet their sugar yields are considered quite good for early generation sugarcane. Ho 08-9001 produced 12% more cane than the variety HoCP 96-540, but 37% less sugar. While Ho 08-9003 produced 2% more cane and 50% less sugar than the commercial standard. We are hopeful that this new resistance trait will readily transfer to offspring by traditional breeding techniques and their sugar yields can quickly be improved to commercial levels. The unique combination of sugarcane borer resistance and good sugar yields makes these two lines attractive to sugarcane breeders for both further crossing to develop insect-resistant sugarcane varieties as well as testing in various environments as possible biofuels feedstock.
Technical Abstract: ‘Ho 08-9001’ and ‘Ho 08-9003’ germplasm were selected as early-generation clones (Saccharum x S. spontaneum) for the combined traits of resistance to the sugarcane borer (Diatraea saccharalis), vigorous growth habit, biomass yield, and high sucrose levels for a wide cross. Ho 08-9001 expressed 13% bored internodes (3% more than the accepted economic threshold of 10% bored internodes for sugarcane borer in Louisiana), but had comparatively low values for adult emergence and larval weight. Ho 08-9003 expressed bored internodes equal to the accepted economic threshold, and also had low values for adult emergence and larval weights. The low adult emergence values and low larval weights suggest antibiosis as the resistance mechanism to the sugarcane borer; a resistance mechanism not yet exploited in our breeding program for stem borer resistance. Ho 08-9001 produced 12% more cane (113 Mg per ha vs. 100 Mg per ha) than the variety HoCP 96-540, but 37% less sugar (67 kg per Mg vs. 107 kg per Mg). While Ho 08-9003 produced 2% more cane (102 Mg per ha vs. 100 Mg per ha) and 50% less sugar (54 kg per Mg vs. 107 kg per Mg) than the commercial standard. The unique combination of sugarcane borer resistance and high early-generation (F1) sucrose makes these two clones attractive to sugarcane breeders for both further backcrossing to develop insect-resistant sugarcane cultivars as well as testing in various environments as possible biofuels feedstock.