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Title: Discovering the desirable alleles contributing to the lignocellulosic biomass traits in saccharum germplasm collections for energy cane improvement

Phenotyping Methods: The accessions (which includes 21 taxa and 1,177 accessions) in the World Collection of Sugarcane and Related Grasses (WCSRG) was evaluated for the following traits: arenchyma, internode length and diameter, pubescence, pith, Brix, stalk number and fiber. A core of 300 accessions that included each species in the World Collection was selected by using the Maximization Strategy in MStrat software. Results: The core had a higher diversity rating than random selections of 300 accessions. The Shannon–Weaver Diversity Index scores of the core and whole collection were similar indicating that the majority of the diversity was captured by the core collection. The ranges and medians between the core and WCSRG were similar; only two of the trait medians were not significant at P = 0.05 using the non-parametric Wilcoxon method and the coincidence rate (CR % = 96.2) was high (>80) indicating that extreme values were retained. Thus, the phenotypic diversity of these traits in the WCSRG was well represented by the core collection. Associations Methods: Genotypic and phenotypic data were collected for 1002 accessions of the WCSRG including 209 SSR markers. Association analysis was performed using both General Linear (GLM) and Maximum Likelihood (MLM) models. Different core collectionsmore » with 300 accessions each were selected based on genotypic, phenotypic and combined data based on the Maximization Strategy in MStrat software. Results: A major portion of the genotyping involving SNPs is being conducted by Dr. Jianping Wang of the University of Florida under the DOE award DE-FG 02-11ER 65214 and the genotypic and phenotypic associations will be reported separately next year. In the current, study forty one and seventeen markers were found to be associated with traits using the GLM and MLM methods respectively including associations with arenchyma, internode length and diameter, pubescence, pith, and Sugar Cane Yellow Leaf Virus. The data indicates that each of the cores and the World Collection are similar to each other genotypically and phenotypically, but the core that was selected using only genotypic data was significantly different phenotypically. This indicates that there is not enough association between the genotypic and phenotypic diversity as to select using only genotypic diversity and get the full phenotypic diversity. Core Collection: Creation and Phenotyping Methods: To evaluate this germplasm for breeding purposes, a representative diversity panel selected from the WCSRG of approximately 300 accessions was planted at Canal Point, FL in three replications. These accessions were measured for stalk height and stalk number multiple times throughout the growing season and Brix and fresh biomass during harvest in 2013 and, stalk height, stalk number, stalk diameter, internode length, Brix and fresh and dry biomass was determined in the ratoon crop harvest in 2014. Results: In correlations of multiple measurements, there were higher correlations for early measurements of stalk number and stalk height with harvest traits like Brix and fresh weight. Hybrids had higher fresh mass and Brix while Saccharum spontaneum had higher stalk number and dry mass. The heritability of hybrid mass traits was lower in the ratoon crop. According to the principal component analysis, the diversity panel was divided into two groups. One group had accessions with high stalk number and high dry biomass like S. spontaneum and the other groups contained accessions with higher Brix and fresh biomass like S. officinarum. Mass traits correlated with each other as expected but hybrids had lower correlations between fresh and dry mass. Stalk number and the mass traits correlated with each other except in S. spontaneum and hybrids in the first ratoon. There were 110 accessions not significantly different in Brix from the commercial sugarcane checks including 10 S. spontaneum accessions. There were 27 dry and 6 fresh mass accessions significantly higher than the commercial sugarcane checks. Core Collection: Fiber analysis Methods: A biomass sample was taken from each accession then shredded and dried. Fiber analysis was then performed on each sample. The acetyl groups, acid insoluble lignin, acid soluble lignin, arabinan, glucan, holocellulose, total lignin, structural ash, and xylan were quantified on a % fiber basis and nonstructural ash on a % total basis. Results: There were significant, but not large differences between species for holocellulose, lignin, acetyl, acid soluble lignin, nonstructural ash, and glucan. For each trait, S. spontaneum had significantly more holocellulose, glucan, lignin, and nonstructural ash and less acetyl and acid soluble lignin than the other species. In all populations, glucan and was positively correlated with holocellulose were positively correlated and glucan and and holocellulose were negatively correlated with lignin. In hybrids, internode length correlated positively with holocellulose and nonstructural ash and negatively with lignin. The heritability estimates for each of the fiber component traits is low indicating that environment is an important factor in fiber composition. Principal component analysis indicated that a large amount of diversity exists within each of the species.« less
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  1. USDA ARS Sugarcane Field Station, Canal Point, FL (United States)
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Technical Report
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USDA ARS Sugarcane Field Station, Canal Point, FL (United States)
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United States