Submitted to: International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/26/2001
Publication Date: 9/18/2001
Citation: Pan, Y., Burner, D.M., Wei, Q. 2001. Developing species-specific DNA markers to assist in sugarcane breeding. Proceedings of International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings. 24:337-342. Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane breeders attempt to transfer agriculturally desirable traits from wild relatives into commercial varieties by crossing them. One problem, however, is that sugarcane produces an abundance of small flowers and it is difficult to know if the seed produced by the "female parent" originated from pollen produced by the planned "male parent" or from pollen produced by the female parent. Plants originating from seed produced by the former cross are considered "hybrids" because they contain genetic material from both parents whereas plants originating from the latter cross are considered "selfs" because they contain the genetic material from only one parent. Two species-specific DNA markers were developed as a tool to assist breeders in identifying true hybrid offspring early in the selection program. These markers are essentially DNA fingerprints of one of the wild sugarcane species commonly used in the varietal development program in Louisiana. The Louisiana sugarcane varietal development program is a 13 t 14-year program that begins with the planting of approximately 120,000 seedlings (potential varieties) in the field. It is estimated that only 50% of these seedlings are hybrids. Identification of unwanted "selfed offspring" early in the program should improve the frequency of release of superior varieties to the Louisiana sugarcane industry.
Technical Abstract: Two species-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) markers were developed to assist in sugarcane breeding. Marker Eri3/Eri4 is a 313 bp DNA product that is amplified specifically from the 5S rRNA locus of Erianthus spp. clones. Marker GigI/PII generates two DNA products. One is a 176 bp amplified DNA product from the 5S rRNA locus of S. giganteum, including all lthree known cytotypes (2n = 30, 60, and 90). The other is a DNA product o approximately 350 bp in size from Erianthus spp. clones, NG 77-214 and IMP 2886. Three cases are reported to demonstrate how these species-specific DNA markers were applied in the conventional breeding program to identify true sugarcane intergeneric hybrids.