Western Ghats in India with diverse climatic condition and different types of vegetation covering the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, is a biodiversity hot spot. This important area was not explored earlier for sugarcane wild genetic resources. Targeted explorations in these areas resulted in the collection of 39 Saccharum spontaneum (3 in Tamil Nadu, 5 in Kerala, 9 in Karnataka, 4 in Goa and 18 in Maharashtra), 11 Erianthus arundinaceus (3 in Tamil Nadu, 6 in Kerala, 1 in Goa and 1 in Maharashtra), 3 Erianthus bengalense (1 in Tamil Nadu and 2 in Goa) and 2 Saccharum officinarum (one each in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka). S. spontaneum was distributed throughout the regions, while Erianthus species were abundant in Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu. S. spontaneum exhibited wide variation for different traits like plant height (312 to 45 cm), leaf length (102 to 21 cm), leaf width (1.3 to 0.2 cm), peduncle length (59 to 16 cm), arrow length (46 to 14 cm), internode length (15.3 to 4.5) and cane diameter (0.8 to 0.3 cm). E. arundinaceus also showed wide range for plant height (631 to 192 cm), leaf width (5.7 to 3.8 cm) and internode length (8.5 to 17 cm). Cluster analysis grouped the germplasm into four clusters, and 97% of the S. spontaneum grouped into Cluster IV. Cluster III had three accessions and all were E. bengalense, while most of the E. arundinaceus accessions were grouped into Cluster I. Genetic diversity of the new germplasm collected and their utilization in sugarcane genetic improvement programme are discussed.
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The study was funded by Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.
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Govindaraj, P., Mahadevaswamy, H.K. Collection, Characterization and Diversity Analysis of New Wild Sugarcane Germplasm Collected from Western Ghats: A Rich Biodiversity Spot in India. Sugar Tech (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12355-020-00933-9
- Saccharum spontaneum
- Cluster analysis