Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360016

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

Location: Sugarcane Field Station

Title: Sugarcane Genotypic Variation in Physiological and Yield Traits and Their Relationships

Author
item Zhao, Duli
item IREY, MIKE - U.S. SUGAR CORPORATION
item LABORDE, CHRIS - U.S. SUGAR CORPORATION
item HU, CHEN-JIAN - U.S. SUGAR CORPORATION

Submitted to: International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2019
Publication Date: 9/2/2019
Citation: Zhao, D., Irey, M., Laborde, C., Hu, C. 2019. Sugarcane genotypic variation in physiological and yield traits and their relationships. International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists Proceedings. 30:476-481.

Interpretive Summary: A field study was conducted on a sand soil to investigate physiological and yield traits of 18 sugarcane genotypes and to determine relationships between the physiological (leaf SPAD reading, leaf net photosynthetic rate, and canopy normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)) and yield traits across genotypes. The yield traits included talk population, mean stalk weight, stalk diameter and length, cane yield, commercial recoverable sucrose, and sucrose yield. Cane and sucrose yields positively correlated to leaf photosynthesis. No correlations were detected between leaf SPAD reading and most yield traits. Stalk population, and cane and sucrose yields most highly correlated with NDVI. Therefore, measurements of leaf photosynthesis or canopy NDVI during sugarcane growth could be useful for predicting yield potential across genotypes in cultivar development programs.

Technical Abstract: Sugarcane (a complex hybrid of Saccharum spp.) physiological, growth, and yield traits are important for growers to evaluate cultivars and for breeders to select best genotypes in variety development programs. Little is known about the relationships between physiological traits measured during early growth and final yield components. A field experiment was conducted on a sand soil to investigate physiological and yield characteristics of 18 sugarcane genotypes and to determine relationships between the physiological and yield traits in crops of plant cane, first ratoon, and second ratoon. The physiological traits included leaf SPAD reading, leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn), and canopy normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The yield traits included stalk population, mean stalk weight, stalk diameter and stalk length, cane yield (t/ha, TCH), commercial recoverable sucrose (CRS), and sucrose yield (t sucrose/ha, TSH). Among the three physiological traits, Pn had the greatest variation (CV = 12–16%). Among the yield traits, TCH had the greatest and CRS had the smallest variation across genotypes. Crops also affected the genotypic variation in these traits. TCH, TSH, and mean stalk weight positively correlated to leaf Pn. No correlations were detected between leaf SPAD reading and most yield traits, except for CRS that negatively correlated with leaf SPAD reading across genotypes. Stalk population and TCH most highly correlated with NDVI. Therefore, measurements of leaf Pn or canopy NDVI during sugarcane growth may be useful for predicting yield potential across genotypes.