Location: Sugarcane ResearchTitle: Ensuring and exploiting the genetic diversity of sugarcane
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/7/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Modern sugarcane cultivars are complex interspecific hybrids primarily involving Saccharum officinarum and S. spontaneum. In the late 1800s, early breeders in Java, Indonesia recognized the value of interspecific hybridization and began to hybridize the two species, resulting in vigorous and disease-resistant cultivars. Most sugarcane cultivars world wide are based upon these early hybrids. The lack of diversity in ancestral clones has led modern sugarcane breeding programs to explore and exploit related wild germplasm. This wild germplasm contains genes for biotic and abiotic stress resistance. This chapter first provides an overview of sugarcane germplasm collections and then describes introgression-related research and breeding efforts in the past focused on use of S. spontaneum, Erianthus and other species. Difficulties and challenges that need to be overcome for successful outcomes from introgression breeding are emphasised. Finally, a few possible future directions are considered, given experiences to date and emerging opportunities.