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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Research Project #432536

Research Project: Sugarcane Improvement through Effective Disease Management and Resistance Development

Location: Sugarcane Research

Project Number: 6052-22000-018-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Jan 4, 2017
End Date: Feb 18, 2020

Objective 1: Identify germplasm of hybrid sugarcane and wild relatives of sugarcane for resistance to economically limiting diseases that breeders can use for parental clones. Sub-objective 1.A. Classify available clones from different taxa for disease resistance. Sub-objective 1.B. Identify DNA markers that are closely 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 sugarcane. 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 parental germplasm with resistance to the economically limiting 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 SCAR (Sequenced Characterized Amplified Region) and or single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 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.