AJPS> Vol.4 No.2, February 2013
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Conventional Sugarcane Breeding in South Africa: Progress and Future Prospects

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ABSTRACT

Initial sugarcane production in South Africa relied on imported varieties. When imported varieties succumbed to diseases, the industry established the South African Research Institute (SASRI) with the mandate to develop sugarcane varieties. The popular and highly successful varieties, NCo310 and NCo376 were selected from crosses imported from India. NCo310 and NCo376 were grown successfully in several countries across the world where they produced high yield and ratooning ability. Later, crossing was established at SASRI based on flowers initiated in the glasshouse and photoperiod house under controlled temperature and photoperiod conditions. A five stage program is currently being implemented in the variety development process. More than 60 varieties have been released from the breeding programs. Other achievements include development of germplasm that is currently being used to enhance sugar cane variety development in South Africa. Currently, high realised selection gains are evident in most of the advanced selection populations. The released varieties show genetic gains over time. Efforts to enhance the breeding program include introgression, family evaluation, selection models and use of molecular markers.

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Cite this paper

M. Zhou, "Conventional Sugarcane Breeding in South Africa: Progress and Future Prospects," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2013, pp. 189-197. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.42025.

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