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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #357095

Research Project: Development of High-Yielding, Stress Tolerant Sugarcane Cultivars Using Agronomic, Genetic, and Molecular Approaches

Location: Sugarcane Field Station

Title: Albinism in sugarcane: significance, research gaps, and potential future research developments

Author
item Migneault, Andrew - University Of Florida
item Sandhu, Hardev - University Of Florida
item Mccord, Per - Former ARS Employee
item Zhao, Duli
item Erickson, John - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Sugar Tech
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2018
Publication Date: 6/1/2019
Citation: Migneault, A., Sandhu, H., Mccord, P.H., Zhao, D., Erickson, J. 2019. Albinism in sugarcane: significance, research gaps, and potential future research developments. Sugar Tech. 21(3):536-541. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-018-0668-1.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-018-0668-1

Interpretive Summary: Improvement of sugarcane, an important crop for sugar and bioenergy, productivity depends on the continued availability of new and beneficial genes and on novel approaches to access their full potential. One such novel approach is perhaps in the study of full or partial (variegation) albinism, an underexplored topic with implications both in sugarcane cultivar development and crop production. In sugarcane and other domesticated cereal grasses, cell culture has been employed via haploid and diploid embryogenesis in order to obtain genetically favorable parents, though rates of albinism in the regenerated plantlets are high and remain a major bottleneck. Photosynthetic rate of sugarcane leaves is known to throttle down throughout the growing season, and there is evidence that sink availability provides strong feedback. How an albino tiller – a genuine photosynthate sink – will accumulate sugar and biomass and respond to light cues and senescence, as well as how the rest of the plant will respond to an albino tiller, is still unknown. In this short communication, we discussed the significance, critical gaps, and potential future developments of albinism in sugarcane research. The information may help us better understand the genetics and physiology of sugarcane albinism.

Technical Abstract: The usefulness of breeding to improve sugarcane (Saccharum sp. hybrids) crop performance and productivity depends heavily on the continued availability of new and beneficial genes and on novel approaches to the reproductive and agronomic controls used to access their full potential. One such novel approach is perhaps in the study of full or partial (variegation) albinism, an underexplored topic with implications both in sugarcane cultivar development and crop production. In sugarcane and other domesticated cereal grasses, cell culture (e.g., anther, callus, and immature-embryo culture) has been employed via haploid and diploid embryogenesis in order to obtain genetically favorable parents, though rates of albinism in the regenerated plantlets are significantly high and remain a major bottleneck. The rate of photosynthesis in sugarcane leaves is known to throttle down throughout the growing season, and there is evidence that sink availability provides strong feedback. How an albino tiller – a genuine photosynthate sink – will accumulate sugar and biomass and respond to light cues and senescence, as well as how the rest of the plant will respond to an albino tiller, is currently unknown. In this short communication, we discussed the significance, critical gaps, and potential future developments of albinism in sugarcane research.