Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/13/2018
Publication Date: 9/1/2018
Citation: Hale, A.L., White Jr, P.M., Todd, J.R., Dufrene Jr, E.O., Viator, R.P. 2018. Advances in the basic breeding program [abstract]. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 38:57.
Technical Abstract: The USDA-ARS’ Sugarcane Germplasm Enhancement Program (basic breeding program) was established in the late 1950s to characterize and broaden the genetic base of Saccharum and develop pest resistant parental clones enhanced with traits for adaptation to temperate climates. Because of high planting costs, an ongoing emphasis has been on the development of varieties with yield stability. Wild germplasm, such as Saccharum spontaneum are frequently utilized in the basic breeding program to exploit traits such as resistance and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress. A basic stress test was planted in 2012 to determine if near-commercial material developed through germplasm enhancement had better ratooning ability than currently available commercial varieties. The test was harvested through fourth ratoon and results demonstrate that some of the enhanced material produces more tons of cane per acre than commercial varieties in late ratoons. Varieties enhanced for resistance to diseases, and tolerance to abiotic stress continue to contribute to commercial yield gains.