Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #210451

Title: Prospects of Breeding for Low Starch Content in Sugarcane

item ZHOU, M
item Eggleston, Gillian
item Veremis, John

Submitted to: International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2007
Publication Date: 9/1/2007
Citation: Zhou, M., Kimbeng, C., Eggleston, G., Veremis, J.C., Gravois, K. 2007. Prospects of Breeding for Low Starch Content in Sugarcane. International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 26:724-727.

Interpretive Summary: Currently, sugarcane varieties delivered to factories for processing have too high starch contents that make processing difficult. This research was done to ascertain what the genetic source of starch was in sugarcane. Certain species of sugarcane were found to contain from high to low starch contents. This will help sugarcane breeders in the future select and breed for sugarcane with low starch.

Technical Abstract: Characterization of sugarcane germplasm for juice quality traits such as starch content could encourage their use for germplasm enhancement. Starch content among sugarcane germplasm was evaluated in three experiments. Experiment I had 49 accessions including 5 Saccharum spontaneum, 13 S. barberi, 11 S. robustum, 8 S. sinense, 9 S. officinarum and 1 each of Erianthus sp., Miscanthus sp. and S. bengalense. Experiment II had 52 S. spontaneum and one S. officinarum accessions. Experiment III had 76 clones including 6 cultivars and 70 unselected clones of F1 and BC1 origin derived from crosses between S. spontaneum and cultivars. Experiments I and II revealed significant differences in starch levels among the Saccharum species, and significant differences among clones within species. Generally, the cultivated Saccharum species produced less starch than their wild relatives. Saccharum species with > 5 stalks per stool could be ranked into high starch (S. spontaneum), medium starch (S. barberi, S. sinense and S. robustum) and low starch (S. officinarum) content. In Experiment III starch content ranked as cultivars < BC1 < F1 clones. Thus, parents low in starch content could be selected even from among high starch species such as S. spontaneum for use in germplasm enhancement.