Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #298520

Research Project: Conservation, Genetic Analyses, and Utilization of Subtropical/Tropical Fruit Crops, Sugarcane, and Miscanthus Genetic Resources

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: The World Sugarcane and Related Grasses Collection at USDA/ARS Genebank Repository in Miami, Florida, USA

Author
item Ayala-Silva, Tomas

Submitted to: Pakistan Journal of Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/2014
Publication Date: 11/1/2014
Citation: Ayala Silva, T. 2014. The World Sugarcane and Related Grasses Collection at USDA/ARS Genebank Repository in Miami, Florida, USA. Pakistan Journal of Botany.November 2014.

Interpretive Summary: In early 1980’s the USDA-ARS established the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) a network of gene banks to preserve genetic resources of importance to National and International agriculture. The National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Miami, Florida is one of these repositories. The repository was established in 1984. The repository, maintains collections of more than 26 genera including Carambola, Longan, Litchee, mango, avocado, sugarcane, Tamarindus, ornamentals and other minor fruit crops. This repository is devoted to conservation of tropical/subtropical fruit, sugarcane and related grasses, and ornamentals. A globally diverse collection of sugarcane and related species (e.g. Miscanthus) germplasm has been gather and expanded over the last 37 years. Unique sugarcane species are maintained as growing plants, evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic qualities, tested for virus and fungus contamination, documented in the Genetic Resources Information Network (GRIN) database and freely distributed to national and international research institutions. The Miami repository maintains approximately1300 clonal saccharum accessions and approximately 354 seed lots representing the major species and three geographical distribution areas for the species. Besides the vegetatively maintained sugarcane germplasm collection, the USDA-ARS financed and coordinated the preservation of true seed of both S. officinarum and S. spontaneum clones. Open pollinated true seed of S. officinarum and spontaneum clones was produced at the Breeding Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters'Association and Canal Point, Florida and more than 100 seeds from each clone are stored in liquid nitrogen at Fort Collins, Colorado. Presently we are working in cooperation with the NCGRP to back up the clones in tissue culture and cryopreserved meristems. Over 85% of the collection has tested negative for most common viruses and rusts to include orange rust. During the last 5 years, on average 800 accessions were distributed annually to national and international researchers. While originally conceived as a working collection for crop improvement mainly for Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii and Puerto Rico sugarcane growers, this repository has become the world’s number one source for raw materials for basic genetic research, breeding and preserves rare species, vulnerable landraces and historic cultivars. The Miami NGR collection serves as a laboratory and a classroom to promote the preservation of sugarcane genetic diversity for future generations. In addition, the repository serves as the quarantine facilities for sugarcane for the state of Florida and our collection. Keywords: sugarcane, Saccharum, officinarum, barberi, spontaneum, robustum

Technical Abstract: In early 1980’s the USDA-ARS established the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) a network of gene banks to preserve genetic resources of importance to National and International agriculture. The National Clonal Germplasm Repository (NCGR) in Miami, Florida is one of these repositories. This repository is devoted to conservation of tropical/subtropical fruit, sugarcane and related grasses, and ornamentals. A globally diverse collection of Saccharum and related species (e.g. Miscanthus) germplasm has been assembled and expanded over the last 37 years. Distinctive sugarcane genotypes are maintained as growing plants in a 3 hectare area, evaluated for phenotypic and genotypic qualities, tested for virus and fungus contamination, documented in the Genetic Resources Information Network (GRIN) database and freely distributed to national and international research institutions. The Miami repository maintains approximately1300 clonal saccharum accessions and approximately 354 seed lots representing the major species and three geographical distribution areas for the species. The collection comprises of S. officinarum (300), S. barberi (37), S. sinense (29), S. robustum (145), S. spontaneum (385), S. hybrids (150) and allied genera (240). The allied genera includes Erinathus arundinaceus, brevibarbe, narenga, edule, ravennae, kanashiroi, rufipilu, procerum, plumosum and miscanthus Besides the vegetatively maintained world germplasm collection, the USDA-ARS financed and coordinated the preservation of true seed of both S.officinarum and S. spontanewn clones. Open pollinated true seed of 78 S. officinarum and 148 S. spontaneum clones were produced at the Breeding Station of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association and at Canal Point, Florida. More than 100 seeds from each clone were stored in liquid nitrogen at the National Seed Storage Laboratory, Fort Collins, Colorado. At this moment we are working in cooperation with the NCGRP to back up the clones in tissue culture and cryopreserved meristems. Over 85% of the collection has tested negative for most common viruses and rusts to include orange rust. However, several accessions have tested positive for Sugarcane Yellow leave syndrome. During the last 5 years, on average 800 accessions were distributed annually to researchers in the USA and worldwide. While originally conceived as a working collection for crop improvement mainly for Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Hawaii and Puerto Rico sugarcane growers, this repository has become the world’s number one source for raw materials for basic genetic research, breeding and preserves rare species, vulnerable landraces and historic cultivars. The Miami sugarcane collection serves as a laboratory and a classroom to promote the preservation of sugarcane genetic diversity for future generations. Keywords: sugarcane, Saccharum, officinarum, barberi, spontaneum, robustum