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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312027

Research Project: Enhancement of Sugarcane Germplasm for Development of Stress Tolerant, High Yielding Cultivars

Location: Sugarcane Field Station

Title: Development of New Energy Cane Culitvars

Author
item Gordon, Vanessa
item Comstock, Jack
item Hardev, Sandhu - University Of Florida
item Gilbert, Robert - University Of Florida
item Korndorfer, Pedro - Florida Crystals Corporation
item El-hout, Nael - Bp Biofuels North America, Llc
item Arundale, Rebecca - Bp Biofuels North America, Llc

Submitted to: International Plant and Animal Genome IX Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2014
Publication Date: 1/10/2015
Citation: Gordon, V.S., Comstock, J.C., Hardev, S., Gilbert, R.A., Korndorfer, P., El-Hout, N., Arundale, R. 2015. Development of New Energy Cane Culitvars. International Plant and Animal Genome IX Conference. PRESENTATION DATE.

Interpretive Summary: Energy cane is a relatively new generation of energy crops being bred as a source for biofuel feedstock and ethanol production. Current energy cane breeding strategies have focused on selecting high biomass hybrids from wide crosses between commercial sugarcane cultivars and S. spontaneum, which is characterized by high stalk counts and fiber content, excellent ratooning ability, and tolerances to abiotic and biotic pressures. A cooperative energy cane cultivar development program has been established between the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station (Canal Point, Florida), the University of Florida-EREC (Belle Glade, Florida), and BP Biofuels North America, LLC (Houston, Texas) to produce high-yielding, and disease-resistant cultivars. As a result of four years of testing, five energy cane cultivars (i.e UFCP 74-1010, UFCP 78-1013, UFCP 82-1655, UFCP 84-1047, and UFCP 87-0053) were developed in Florida and released this year. Yields of the new cultivars exceeded L79-1002 (released in 2008). The UFCP82-1655 cultivar will provide a new source of energy cane.

Technical Abstract: Research into alternative energy sources has been on the rise since the 1970s. Novel sources of carbon-neutral energy are currently in high demand, but can pose different challenges in their development. Energy cane is a relatively new generation crop being bred as a source for biofuel feedstock and ethanol production. Though originating from the sugarcane (Sacharrum spp.) family, energy cane breeding strategies have diverged from the tradition goal of increasing sugars to maintaining a focus on selecting high biomass hybrids. These hybrids are derived from wide crosses between commercial sugarcane cultivars and S. spontaneum, a subspecies within the Saccharum family, which is characterized by high stalk counts and fiber content, excellent ratooning ability, and tolerances to abiotic and biotic pressures. A cooperative energy cane cultivar development program was established in 2007 between the USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station (Canal Point, Florida), and the University of Florida-EREC (Belle Glade, Florida) to produce high-yielding, and disease-resistant energy cane clones. After completing four years of multi-location field trials, disease screening, and fiber component analyses, five energy cane cultivars developed in Florida have been released (i.e., UFCP74-1010, UFCP78-1013, UFCP-82-1655, UFCP84-1047, UFCP87-0053). Yields of the new cultivars are comparable to, or exceed the commercial check, L79-1002 (released in 2008). Disease data, derived from both field trials and artificial inoculation, indicate very low smut susceptibility when compared to the check; with no significant differences between the new releases. Fiber composition was comparable between the five energy cane clones and L79-1002. Rapid progress has been made in clone improvement; with several cultivars currently in Stage II far exceeding the yields and disease ratings of L79-1002. UFCP74-1010, UFCP78-1013, UFCP-82-1655, UFCP84-1047, and UFCP87-0053 have been released publically, and are intended for cultivation on the mineral soils within Florida.