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Title: Sugarcane microsatellites for the assessment of genetic diversity in sugarcane germplasm

item Pan, Yong-Bao

Submitted to: Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2003
Publication Date: 7/20/2003
Citation: Cordeiro, G.M., Pan, Y.-B., Henry, R.J. 2003. Sugarcane microsatellites for the assessment of genetic diversity in sugarcane germplasm. Plant Science. 165:181-189.

Interpretive Summary: The assessment of genetic diversity among sugarcane varieties and related wild plant species is traditionally based on parentage and differences in height, leaf shape, stalk thickness, response to diseases or insects, etc. In this study, genetic diversity was assessed using DNA markers called microsatellites or simply DNA sequence Repeats. Sixty-six specimens were assayed including sugarcane varieties and related wild plant species using six different microsatellite markers. Based on the results, the 66 specimens were classified into three groups: Group I included the specimens of Erianthus, a wild relative of sugarcane; Group II included sugarcane varieties and three parental wild species; and Group III the specimens of sorghum which is a tropical grass related to both corn and sugarcane. The information developed helps sugarcane breeders identify sugarcane varieties used as parents in their breeding programs as well as the offspring resulting from planned crosses. The information should assist in sugarcane classification as well as in determining the origin of modern sugarcane varieties.

Technical Abstract: The ability of microsatellite or simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers to determine the genetic diversity between Saccharum (S. officinarum, S. spontaneum, S. sinense), Old World Erianthus Michx. sect. Ripidium, North American E. giganteus (S. giganteum), Sorghum and Miscanthus was assessed. Six SSR markers were tested on 66 accessions and produced a total of 187 distinct alleles. Our results were compared against published data from other molecular marker types such as RFLPs, RAPDs, AFLPs and 5S rRNA intergenic spacers. Similarity coefficient calculations and clustering revealed a genetic structure for Saccharum and Erianthus sect. Ripidium that reflected closely the genetic structures previously identified using other marker systems. The results indicated that SSRs will be an ideal means of identifying the genetic constitution of modern sugarcane cultivars of interspecific origins.