Sugarcane Varietal Improvement Through Tissue Culture
The present day sugarcane varieties grown all over the world are complex species hybrids synthesized from about 25 basic genotypes belonging to the five species of Saccharum. Considering the vast assembly of sugarcane germplasm in the world collections from a wide range of geographic and environmental conditions, the sugarcane breeder at present is in a very sound position to breed varieties for the changing needs of the farmer and industry. High yielding varieties with built-in pest and disease resistance have been developed during the past 68 years through conventional breeding and selection programs, which requires 10 to 15 years to release a variety. Co 7704 is a recently released variety from the Sugarcane Breeding Institute, combining high yield and high sucrose with resistance to diseases like smut and one strain of red rot. The variety is very much liked by the farmers and the early maturity (10 months) and high sugar content is beneficial also. However, this variety suffers from a genetic defect — a characteristic pattern of leaf drying between 80 and 120 days after planting. The crop at this stage gives a dry appearance and, hence, the spread of the variety is restricted. Because of the genetic complexity of the variety, recovery of a similar variety will be impossible if attempts are made to rectify this defect through conventional breeding methods. Sugarcane cell and tissue culture work done so far has shown that the technique can be utilized profitably in such specific areas.
KeywordsPollen Mother Cell Sugarcane Variety Stalk Diameter Sugarcane Breeding Institute Conventional Breeding Method
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