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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335733

Title: Historical use of cultivars as parents in Florida and Louisiana sugarcane breeding programs

item Todd, James
item Glaz, Barry
item Burner, David
item KIMBENG, COLLINS - Louisiana State University Agcenter

Submitted to: International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN)
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2014
Publication Date: 1/20/2015
Citation: Todd, J.R., Glaz, B.S., Burner, D.M., Kimbeng, C. 2015. Historical use of cultivars as parents in Florida and Louisiana sugarcane breeding programs. International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN). Article ID 257417. 2015:1-9.

Interpretive Summary: New sugarcane cultivars help growers by increasing yield and providing resistance to diseases and harsh conditions. To develop cultivars breeders make crosses between different sugarcane parents including commercial cultivars. It is evident that sugarcane commercial cultivars are good parents; however, sugarcane breeders may minimize the use of commercial cultivars because they do not add genetic diversity. To see if there is an advantage in using commercial cultivars as parents, the breeding records from three American breeding programs including one in Florida and two in Louisiana were analyzed to determine how many commercial cultivars had commercial parents. The results indicated that the majority (64 to 82%) of new cultivars released by these breeding programs had at least one commercial parent thus showing commercial cultivar’s potential as future parents. These results will be useful to breeders in making parental choices.

Technical Abstract: Sugarcane (Saccharum L. spp. hybrids) growers depend on breeding programs for new, high-yielding cultivars that have resistance to abiotic and biotic stresses, so breeders continually seek out widely adapted, high yielding germplasm to be used as parents for their programs. Cultivars are sometimes used for this purpose, but their use may be minimized to prevent genetic diversity erosion. The purpose of this study was to determine the importance of cultivars as parents in three USA (one in Florida and two in Louisiana) sugarcane breeding programs by quantifying the percentage of cultivars that had these parental groupings based on published registrations and crossing records. The percentage of cultivars with at least one commercial parent for each program was 81.8%, 77.5%, and 64.3% for the Houma (Ho), Louisiana, Canal Point (CP), Florida and Louisiana State University (LSU) programs, respectively, but cultivars were recently used as parents in only 11.8% (Ho), 16.39% (CP), and 34.3% (LSU) of crosses. The results indicate that the CP and Ho programs should consider increasing the use of cultivars as parents in their breeding programs to increase the probability of selecting potential commercial genotypes, but this should be balanced with high diversity crosses to avoid the loss of diversity.