Submitted to: Sugar Cane
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/5/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Wild cane (Saccharum spontaneum) has played an important role in the development of modern sugarcane varieties. Conservation of this species is maintained in clonal form, which is subject to the perils of man and nature. True seeds of 235 wild cane have been stored at National Seed Storage Laboratory. These accessions were used to examine the genetic variation and genetic drift during seed regeneration. These accessions represent about 66% clones in the World Collection. True seed storage has captured a large portion of the genetic variability in S. spontaneum wild canes. Open pollination of a group of clones with the same period of flowering can be used to produce true seed for storage as a mean of genetic conservation. True seed storage will preserve the genetic resources of the wild canes which may be needed to enhance the improvement of sugarcane cultivars in the future with much less risk of loss than with clonally maintained collections.
Technical Abstract: True seed of 235 accessions of S. spontaneum L. were stored at the National Seed Storage Laboratory (NSSL) at Fort Collins, Colorado. These true seed samples represent approximately 66% of the World Collection of S. spontaneum clones maintained at the USDA-ARS Clonal Germplasm Repository, Miami, Florida. Data on the flowering date indicated that the genetic diversity in the seed genebank was a representative sample of the World Collection for this species. The viability of the seed in storage will be monitored by germination test every 10 years and accessions will be regenerated when the germination drops below 50%. The true seed storage at NSSL will preserve these genetic resources of S. spontaneum that may be needed to enhance the improvement of sugarcane cultivars in the future.