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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #360587

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

Location: Sugarcane Field Station

Title: Physiological and Yield Characteristics of 18 Sugarcane Genotypes Grown on a Sand Soil

Author
item Zhao, Duli
item IREY, MIKE - Us Sugar Corporation
item LABORDE, CHRIS - Us Sugar Corporation
item HU, CHEN-JIAN - Us Sugar Corporation

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2019
Publication Date: 11/22/2019
Citation: Zhao, D., Irey, M., LaBorde, C., Hu, C. 2019. Physiological and yield characteristics of 18 sugarcane genotypes grown on a sand soil. Crop Science. 59:2741-2751.

Interpretive Summary: A field experiment was conducted on a sand soil in Florida to investigate physiological and yield characteristics of 18 sugarcane cultivars or breeding lines and to determine relationships between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and yield components, including stalk population, stalk length, stalk diameter, mean stalk weight, cane yield, commercial recoverable sucrose, and sucrose yield across genotypes. The NDVI values were calculated based on canopy reflectance in red and near infrared wavebands. Among the yield components, stalk population, and cane and sucrose yields most highly correlated with NDVI. The best time of measuring canopy reflectance for yield assessment across the genotypes was in May (before canopy closure) or during early grand growth. Therefore, measurements of NDVI during sugarcane grand growth could be useful for predicting plant growth and yield potential across genotypes in cultivar selection programs and used as an agronomic management tool in sugarcane production.

Technical Abstract: Growth, yield and yield components of sugarcane (a complex hybrid of Saccharum spp.) are important traits for growers to evaluate cultivars and for scientists to select best genotypes in the breeding and cultivar development programs. Collection of these yield data across genotypes would be labor intensive and time consuming in the early selection stages of the breeding programs with a large number of genotypes. A field experiment was conducted on a sand soil to investigate physiological and yield characteristics of 18 sugarcane genotypes and to determine relationships of leaf relative chlorophyll (SPAD reading), leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn), and canopy normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) with yield traits, including stalk population, length, diameter, weight, cane yield (tonnes of cane per hectare, TCH), commercial recoverable sucrose (CRS), and sucrose yield (TSH) across genotypes. The NDVI values were calculated based on canopy reflectance in the red (680 nm) and near infrared (NIR, 800 nm) spectra measured using a multispectral radiometer. Among yield traits, stalk population and TCH most highly correlated with NDVI and/or Pn. Although stalks and TCH were highly and linearly (P < 0.0001) related to NDVI measured in April to August, the best stage of measuring NDVI for yield assessment in Florida across genotypes was during tillering and early grand growth (before canopy closure). Therefore, measurements of NDVI before canopy closure could be useful for predicting plant growth and yield potential across genotypes in cultivar selection programs and used as an agronomic management tool in sugarcane production.