Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #390426

Research Project: Conservation, Evaluation, and Distribution of Sugarcane, Mango, Avocado and Other Subtropical and Tropical Genetic Resources and Associated Data

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Sugarcane genetic diversity and major germplasm collections

item HEMAPRABHA, G - Sugarcane Breeding Institute
item MOHANRAJ, K - Sugarcane Breeding Institute
item JACKSON, P.A. - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item LAKSHMANAN, P - Guangxi Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item Ali, Gul - Shad
item LI, A. - Guangxi Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item HUANG, D.L. - Guangxi Academy Of Agricultural Sciences
item RAM, B. - Sugarcane Breeding Institute

Submitted to: Sugar Tech
Publication Type: Research Technical Update
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/8/2021
Publication Date: 12/31/2021
Citation: Hemaprabha, G., Mohanraj, K., Jackson, P., Lakshmanan, P., Ali, G.S., Li, A., Huang, D., Ram, B. 2021. Sugarcane genetic diversity and major germplasm collections. Sugar Tech. 24(1):279–297.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Genetic diversity present in the sugarcane germplasm, among different Saccharum species and related taxa, represents a large reservoir of genes to develop new varieties and hybrids for any character or ecosystem. Every country engaged in sugarcane improvement retains a collection of sugarcane clones, which evolves over time with new additions. Sugarcane improvement became a professionally directed and scientific endeavour in the early twentieth century. At around this time researchers in India and Indonesia also developed inter-specific hybrids between Saccharum officinarum and S. spontaneum, which formed the founding clones for variety development worldwide. Since then, inter-specific crosses formed the basis for the development of the modern sugarcane industry globally. Deleterious effects of climate, human activities and growing importance of the crop for the production of sugar, ethanol, and energy from its biomass add to the importance of research attention to preserve, characterize and utilize accessions from all the genera in the Saccharum complex in a systematic way. It is obvious that the genetic resources have been utilized to a considerable extent by different workers, although success in terms of released varieties has been limited to a handful of ancestor clones from S. officinarum, S. spontaneum and S. barberi. However, reports of many hybrids developed from various species combinations, several of which are novel creations, have attained commercial level or near commercial level clones are encouraging. All the activities connected with collection, preservation, characterization, documentation and utilization should aim to be more systematic through conventional breeding, genomic breeding and gene harvesting. Aided by the powerful molecular, genomic and bioinformatics tools, the genetic diversity available in the germplasm offer opportunities to design and develop sugarcane varieties with substantial yield improvement under any situations and for generating diversified products in the coming years.