Genomics based approaches to genetic improvement in sugarcane

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Henry, RJ 2009, 'Genomics based approaches to genetic improvement in sugarcane', paper presented to the BIOEN Workshop on Sugarcane Improvement, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 18-19 March.


The genetic improvement of sugarcane will be improved by greater understanding of the genome. Transcriptome and genome analysis should help define how traits are determined by specific alleles in this complex polypoid species. We are now able to apply next generation sequencing to these questions. Genetic markers can be discovered very efficiently by sequencing. A range of platforms are also available for the analysis of desirable alleles in sugarcane populations to support breeding selection. These analyses need to be quantitative to allow assessment of allele dose.

We have demonstrated some of these approaches. A draft whole genome sequence and detailed sequencing of gene regions will define the variation in sugarcane germplasm. The sequencing of the whole genome, gene rich fractions, and cDNA s will all make a contribution. Comparisons will be made with progress in other crop species.