Variability in Breeding Pool of Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) for Yield, Quality and Resistance to Different Biotic and Abiotic Stress Factors

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<ul><li><p>RESEARCH ARTICLE</p><p>Variability in Breeding Pool of Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.)for Yield, Quality and Resistance to Different Biotic and AbioticStress Factors</p><p>A. Anna Durai M. N. Premachandran </p><p>P. Govindaraj P. Malathi R. Viswanathan</p><p>Received: 2 October 2013 / Accepted: 4 January 2014</p><p> Society for Sugar Research &amp; Promotion 2014</p><p>Abstract The understanding on the available genetic</p><p>variability in the breeding pool aids the breeder to choose</p><p>better parental combinations for the desired genetic</p><p>improvement in crop plants. The variability present in the</p><p>National Hybridisation Garden (NHG) of sugarcane in</p><p>India at Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore with an</p><p>assemblage of 606 clones of sugarcane cultivars and other</p><p>elite hybrids were studied for cane yield components, juice</p><p>quality parameters and their level of resistance against red</p><p>rot. The data on smut resistance, tolerance to stalk borer</p><p>and tolerance to different abiotic stresses like drought,</p><p>salinity, water logging, low temperature, high temperature</p><p>and winter ratooning ability of these clones to be used</p><p>parental clones were collected from the available literature.</p><p>Significant leptokurtic distribution for the cane characters</p><p>and right skewed distribution for juice quality traits were</p><p>observed in this breeding pool. Correlation studies indi-</p><p>cated that selection of parents contributing to high cane</p><p>height and high number of millable canes (NMC) would</p><p>result in progeny with high single cane weight (SCW) and</p><p>cane yield because, the SCW was negatively correlated</p><p>with NMC and cane thickness. Clones with high per se</p><p>performance for important yield contributing characters</p><p>were identified which are potential parents for yield</p><p>improvement. For sucrose content, a highly heritable trait</p><p>in sugarcane, nineteen clones with high juice sucrose of</p><p>more than 20 % were found to be suitable as parents for</p><p>quality enhancement. One hundred and thirty-seven clones</p><p>were found as either resistant (R) or moderately Rto the</p><p>most virulent races of red rot pathogen by testing with</p><p>mixed inoculum of Cf 671 and Cf 94012 isolates. Screening</p><p>of the clones for pollen fertility inferred that NHG has</p><p>higher number of clones that can be used as female parent</p><p>than as male parent. The synchrony in flowering of female</p><p>and male parental clones with desirable traits of interest</p><p>and the combining ability of the clones are also discussed</p><p>in this paper. The critical consideration of the different</p><p>parameters in choosing suitable parental clones in crossing</p><p>programme will help in rapid varietal improvement for</p><p>cane and sugar yield as well as to enhance the resistance</p><p>against different biotic and abiotic stresses for increased</p><p>sugarcane productivity.</p><p>Keywords Sugarcane Genetic variability Hybridisation Red rot resistance Sucrose Pollen fertility Biotic and abiotic stresses</p><p>Introduction</p><p>In India, sugarcane is grown in several states representing</p><p>diverse agro-ecological conditions in both tropical and sub-</p><p>tropical regions. Regardless of pronounced emphasis on sug-</p><p>arcane research and development, improvement in</p><p>productivity is not being observed in the country in the recent</p><p>years. Development of high yielding varieties is the viable</p><p>option to enhance the sugarcane production since cultivation</p><p>of suitable variety in the particular location alone could</p><p>improve the cane yield up to 60 per cent. Even though modern</p><p>tools of breeding such as molecular breeding, genetic trans-</p><p>formation, etc. are available now, the classical means of crop</p><p>improvement involving hybridisation and selection still has</p><p>significant role in sugarcane varietal development pro-</p><p>grammes. During the initial periods of sugarcane varietal</p><p>development programme in India, the sugarcane hybrid clones</p><p>A. Anna Durai (&amp;) M. N. Premachandran P. Govindaraj P. Malathi R. ViswanathanSugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore 641 007, India</p><p>e-mail: ayyadu@gmail.com</p><p>123</p><p>Sugar Tech</p><p>DOI 10.1007/s12355-014-0301-x</p></li><li><p>identified at Sugarcane Breeding Institute (SBI) were supplied</p><p>and tested at different locations and some of them became</p><p>popular varieties of respective locations. Considering varied</p><p>agro climatic conditions of the country, development of</p><p>location specific varieties was emphasised after the estab-</p><p>lishment of All India Coordinated Research Project on Sug-</p><p>arcane (AICRP-S). Since sugarcane flowers profusely and sets</p><p>seeds satisfactorily at Coimbatore, a centralised facility for</p><p>creating the required variation, the National Hybridization</p><p>Garden (NHG) was established at SBI, Coimbatore for the</p><p>participating centres of fluff supply programme to make</p><p>crosses of their choice. Further seedling selection and clonal</p><p>evaluation is being carried out at the AICRP (S) centres for the</p><p>development of suitable location specific varieties.</p><p>The important characters expected to be improved in sug-</p><p>arcane are sucrose content, cane yield and resistance/tolerance</p><p>to different biotic stresses such as red rot, smut, wilt, borers</p><p>etc., and biotic stresses such as drought, salinity, water log-</p><p>ging, winter ratoonability, etc. The NHG has the parental</p><p>clones from all the centres which are involved in sugarcane</p><p>variety development programmes in India besides few foreign</p><p>clones. The clones in the garden serve as source of genes for</p><p>different economic traits of sugarcane. The success of any</p><p>breeding programme depends largely on the choice of parental</p><p>genotypes, heritability of the traits, evaluation period and</p><p>statistical model used (Gazaffi et al. 2010). Parents are often</p><p>selected in sugarcane based on performance of their seedlings</p><p>advanced till the final stage of clonal selection (Heinz and Tew</p><p>1987). Screening of the available parents for red rot resistance</p><p>against the different pathogen isolates followed by a recom-</p><p>bination breeding by combining red rot resistance and high</p><p>sucrose content could lead to identification of successful</p><p>commercial varieties. The appropriate planning of crosses</p><p>increases the probability of developing superior varieties</p><p>because it maximise the use of favourable genes besides</p><p>reducing the costs of breeding programme. Hence, knowledge</p><p>on genetic variability and heritability of the traits and ability of</p><p>particular parental clone in transmitting the desired trait(s) to</p><p>its progeny are important. The information on combining</p><p>ability of the parental clones in order to give better progenies is</p><p>also essential to the right choice of parents for hybridisation.</p><p>Further, it was emphasised to have comprehensive data about</p><p>the clones available at NHG especially on resistance to biotic</p><p>and abiotic stresses (Hapase 2012). In order to facilitate the</p><p>sugarcane breeders to effectively utilize the clones, present</p><p>work was carried out to study the available genetic variation in</p><p>the national breeding gene pool of sugarcane and to identify</p><p>the source of genes for the different economic traits.</p><p>Materials and Methods</p><p>Six hundred and six sugarcane clones representing five</p><p>different agro-climatic regions and 13 major states of</p><p>sugarcane cultivation in India along with 20 foreign</p><p>hybrids maintained to be used as parental clones at NHG at</p><p>SBI, Coimbatore were used in the present study (Table 1).</p><p>All 606 clones were planted during the last week of</p><p>December 2010 at SBI, Coimbatore in augmented design I</p><p>replicating the four standards viz., Co 86032, CoC 671 and</p><p>Co 94008 and Co 775 for six times each. Each clone was</p><p>planted in a plot size of single row with 6 m length. The</p><p>recommended agronomical practices were followed to</p><p>have a healthy crop. Data on cane yield components like</p><p>cane height (PHT), cane diameter (CTH), number of mil-</p><p>lable canes per plot (NMC) and single cane weight (SCW)</p><p>were taken at 360 days. Cane yield per plot was estimated</p><p>as a product of its two prime factors viz., NMC and SCW.</p><p>Cane juice at the time of harvest was extracted using power</p><p>operated crusher and was clarified using lead acetate. The</p><p>Table 1 The contribution of parental clones in NHG by different sugarcane breeding locations</p><p>Zone Breeding locationa Number of</p><p>parental</p><p>clones</p><p>Peninsular Zone Coimbatore (188), Powerkheda (10), Padegaon (13), Navsari (6),</p><p>Sirugamani(3), Sankeshwar (6), Thiruvalla (11), Perumalapalli</p><p>(1), Rudrur (12)</p><p>250</p><p>East Coast Zone Anakapalle (33), Cuddalore (23), Vuyyuru</p><p>(11)</p><p>67</p><p>North West Zone Pantnagar (21), Shahjahanpur (61), Uchani(23), Jalandhar (28),</p><p>Ludhiana (2), Lucknow (61)</p><p>196</p><p>North Central and North eastern Zone Pusa (27), Seorahi (12), Buralikson (18), 57</p><p>Foreign clones 20</p><p>Others 16</p><p>Total 606</p><p>a Values in parentheses indicate the number of parents from the particular location</p><p>Sugar Tech</p><p>123</p></li><li><p>juice quality parameters viz., juice Brix %, juice sucrose %,</p><p>commercial cane sugar (CCS) % and purity % were</p><p>worked out as per Chen and Chou (1993). The data col-</p><p>lected were statistically analysed as per procedures given</p><p>by Panse and Sukhatme (1978).</p><p>The parental clones and the standards were tested for their</p><p>level of resistance against the mixed inoculums of Cf 671 and</p><p>Cf 94012 isolates of red rot pathogen Colletotrichum falca-</p><p>tum by controlled condition testing method. The reactions of</p><p>the parental clones to C. falcatum were classified as resistant</p><p>(R), moderately resistant (MR), moderately susceptible</p><p>(MS), susceptible (S) and highly susceptible (HS) as per the</p><p>method given by Viswanathan (2010).</p><p>During the time of peak blooming, anthers from matured</p><p>but unopened spikelets were collected from each flowering</p><p>clone and were squashed in 1 % aceto-carmine with</p><p>glycerine. The pollen fertility was determined on the basis</p><p>of stainability of pollen grains. The flowering clones were</p><p>classified to be used as exclusively female (less than 20 %</p><p>pollen fertility), both as female and male (2060 %), and as</p><p>exclusively male (more than 60 % pollen fertility).</p><p>Information with respect to other agronomically impor-</p><p>tant traits like resistance to smut, tolerance to stalk borer,</p><p>drought, salinity, water logging, low and high temperature</p><p>and winter ratoonability of the clones in NHG was collated</p><p>from the available literature (Anonymous 19802010; He-</p><p>maprabha and Pazhany 2012; Nair 2012). Based on the</p><p>period of flowering and pollen fertility, the parental clones</p><p>with traits of interest available were classified as female and</p><p>male parents for utilization.</p><p>Results and Discussion</p><p>Variability in the Parental Clones</p><p>The information on the nature and magnitude of variability</p><p>present in the available genetic resources is of prime</p><p>importance to initiate any effective crop improvement</p><p>programme. The composition of clones from different</p><p>agro-climatic regions of sugarcane cultivation depicted the</p><p>variation present in this breeding pool of sugarcane used in</p><p>this study. In a crop like sugarcane with a complex genome</p><p>constitution and a high level of heterozygosity, proper</p><p>exploitation of the variability for evolving superior cultivar</p><p>is a complicated process. However, evaluation of exploit-</p><p>able variability in the parental gene pool can assist in</p><p>judicious selection of parental combinations to generate the</p><p>desired recombinants that can stimulate the progress in</p><p>sugarcane breeding. The variation observed for yield</p><p>component and sugar content traits in the parental clones in</p><p>NHG are presented in Table 2.</p><p>Among the characters studied, the highest co-efficient of</p><p>variation was observed for NMC and was closely followed</p><p>by SCW. While moderate level of variation was observed</p><p>for PHT, CTH, sucrose % and CCS % and Brix. Ahmed</p><p>and Obeid (2012) recorded the maximum values of heri-</p><p>tability along with high genetic advance (%) for NMC,</p><p>PHT and CTH. These results suggested that straight</p><p>selection of parents for SCW and NMC can be made as</p><p>these two characters are major contributors for cane yield.</p><p>Hemaprabha et al. (2003) reported high heritability for</p><p>juice quality traits through parent progeny regression while</p><p>Ram (2005) observed high genotypic co-efficient of vari-</p><p>ation, heritability and genetic advance for these traits</p><p>indicating reliability of these sucrose traits for selecting the</p><p>parents for improving sugar yield in sugarcane.</p><p>The frequency distribution of genotypes for cane and</p><p>quality characters is depicted graphically in Fig. 1. Left</p><p>skewed distribution was observed for juice quality char-</p><p>acters and right skewed distribution for cane characters</p><p>though the value was non-significant for PHT. The value of</p><p>skewness was statistically significant for almost all the</p><p>traits studied. Significant leptokurtic distribution observed</p><p>for Brix, CCS % and sucrose % indicated that most values</p><p>are concentrated on the right of mean. Sandhu et al. (2012)</p><p>reported the similar trend for brix content in the open</p><p>pollinated progenies studied.This indicated the presence of</p><p>superior genotypes for these traits in the studied gene pool.</p><p>As depicted in Fig. 1, the non-significant skewness and</p><p>kurtosis was observed for plant height with low percentage</p><p>of extreme genotypes.</p><p>Table 2 Descriptive statistics for cane and juice quality characters in sugarcane breeding pool</p><p>Characters Mean Maximum Median Co-efficient of variation Skewness Kurtosis</p><p>Cane height (cm) 200.7 330.0 200.0 21.22 0.07 -0.32</p><p>Cane weight (kg) 1.10 3.33 1.00 40.00 0.99* 1.98*</p><p>Cane diameter (cm) 2.62 4.50 2.50 17.94 0.64* 1.07*</p><p>NMC/20ft row 43.65 135.00 43.00 42.25 0.87* 2.44*</p><p>Brix % 18.69 23.23 18.78 09.47 -0.51* 0.70*</p><p>Sucrose % 16.40 21.49 16.65 13.17 -0.56* 0.62*</p><p>CCS % 11.31 15.36 11.51 15.03 -0.58* 0.65*</p><p>Sugar Tech</p><p>123</p></li><li><p>Selection of parents is often made based on per se per-</p><p>formance of the clones and the visible characters (pheno-</p><p>typic expression) of interest. In sugarcane, most of the</p><p>agronomic characters are quantitatively inherited and are</p><p>highly influenced by the environment. Selection for high</p><p>cane yield may lead to low sucrose content as the vegeta-</p><p>tive growth may not be favourable for high sucrose accu-</p><p>mulation. The correlation coefficient analysis between the</p><p>characters provides some leads on selecting the best parent.</p><p>The data on eight major characters along with cane yield</p><p>per plot were analysed for Pearson correlation co-efficient</p><p>(Table 3). The cane characters like NMC, PHT, CTH and</p><p>SCW had high positive correlation with cane yield whereas</p><p>the quality characters were not correlated with cane yield.</p><p>Significant positive correlation was observed among the</p><p>cane yield and all its component traits, whereas significant</p><p>negative correlation was obtained between NMC and cane</p><p>thickness. Kadian et al. (2006) reported that yield was</p><p>significantly correlated with SCW, NMC, and PHT. Tyagi</p><p>and Lal (2007) reported highest direct effect of plant vol-</p><p>ume, number of millable stalks, stalk height and weight of</p><p>stalk on sugarcane yield. However, in the present study,</p><p>NMC was found to be negatively correlated with CTH,</p><p>SCW, sucrose %, CCS % and purity % though the corre-</p><p>lation was non-significant with SCW and purity. Negative</p><p>correlation was observed between cane yield and Brix %</p><p>and the cane yield did not show any significant association</p><p>with sugar yield components. Howeve...</p></li></ul>

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