Characterization of Saccharum spontaneum accessions from North-Eastern India
Saccharum spontaneum, an important wild species of Saccharum complex, has been instrumental in improvement of sugarcane for yield, sucrose content, biotic and abiotic resistance. A total of 304 collections of Saccharum spontaneum from four North-Eastern states of India, conserved in the field gene bank at SBI-RC, Kannur, were characterized for 21 qualitative and 12 quantitative descriptors to assess the extent of variability and also to have reference database for maintaining their identity. The accessions showed high variability for both quantitative and qualitative traits. While the Arunachal Pradesh collections predominantly recorded erect and semi-erect plant habit type, the Bushy type was dominant in the collections of Bihar, Sikkim and Manipur. Discriminant analysis of quantitative characters classified the majority of the clones to their respective geographical origin. Shannon Diversity index was found to be more than 0.50 for most of the characters. These collections provide gene pool for broadening the genetic base and to introduce genes for cold and waterlogging tolerance, high vigour and yield.
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