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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Research Project #422832

Research Project: Effective Disease Management Through Enhancement of Resistant Sugarcane

Location: Sugarcane Research

Project Number: 6052-22000-016-00-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 4, 2012
End Date: Jan 3, 2017

The goal of this project is reduce the impact of diseases on the production of sugarcane and energycane by assisting breeders in identifying disease resistant germplasm. Objective 1: Identify germplasm of hybrid sugarcane and wild relatives of sugarcane for resistance to economically limiting diseases that breeders can use for productive sugar and energy cane parental clones. Sub-objective 1.A. Classify available clones from different taxa for disease resistance. Cultivars and near-release cultivars of sugarcane and energycane and wild clones of Saccharum spp. and genetically related genera that may be used as parents will be characterized for resistance to important diseases. Sub-objective 1.B. Identify DNA markers that are linked to genes for disease resistance. Objective 2: Determine molecular and biological characteristics of economically important sugarcane pathogens that can be applied to effective diagnostic protocols. Objective 3: Develop useful methods to monitor potential emergence of exotic pathogens and identify genetic diversity among pathogen populations that affect sugar and/or energy cane. Sub-objective 3.A. Characterize races, strains, or other biotypes of endemic pathogens and determine their distribution. Sub-objective 3.B. Monitor the Louisiana sugarcane industry for the emergence of new pathogens.

To identify and develop germplasm with resistance to the major diseases affecting sugarcane in the United States, highly domesticated and wild clones of sugarcane and near relatives will be evaluated for disease resistance following either natural infections or artificial inoculation. To identify molecular markers that are linked to genes for disease resistance, Random Amplification of Polymorphic DNA (RAPD), Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), and Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) markers in combination with the bulk segregant analysis (BSA) will be used to screen potential DNA markers for resistance to smut and other important diseases. Variations among the DNA sequences of polymorphic DNA fragments will be analyzed and used to design new pairs of specific primers to develop Sequenced Characterized Amplified Region (SCAR) markers. Genotypic and phenotypic expressions of variability within populations of pathogens will be used to identify the genetic variability among pathogen populations and determine the distribution of races, strains, or biotypes. The domestic sugarcane industry will be monitored for the introduction of exotic pathogens.