Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #412336

Research Project: Improved Conversion of Sugar Crops into Food, Biofuels, Biochemicals, and Bioproducts

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Maker-Assisted parental selection to expedite cold tolerant cultivar development

item Uchimiya, Sophie
item KIMBENG, COLLINS - Louisiana State University
item REIS, ANDRE - University Of Missouri

Submitted to: Sugar Bulletin
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2024
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: This study reports on chemical markers to develop climate resilient sugar crop varieties. Chemical markers offer breeders a simple yet reliable method to select parents and progeny populations for targeted breeding. This approach could significantly expedite the costly and labor-intensity breeding process, if markers are detectable at the breeding nursery before the stress events (e.g., pests and freeze) occur. Marker-assisted breeding is particularly useful for sugar crops (e.g., sugarcane and sweet sorghum), as fingerprinting chemicals could be measured in extracted juice samples as well as in biomass. This marker-directed breeding method will ultimately save processing costs at sugarcane factories by improving the feedstock quality.

Technical Abstract: Simple yet reliable cold tolerance markers are now available. Extreme weather stress impacted the Louisiana sugarcane industry in unforeseeable ways in the recent years. Christmas freeze in 2022 affected factory operations across the state by deteriorating the quality of incoming sugarcane. Summer drought in 2023 caused yield losses especially at the central and western parishes supplying a significant portion of sugarcane in Louisiana. Extreme weather can cause large economic losses. Sugarcane breeders needed a marker to detect stress tolerance in parents, before the damaging weather happens. The marker tool will allow breeders to decide which combination of parents to use for crossing. This targeted early generation selection will expedite the delivery of desired varieties to producers.