Genomic Selection in Sugarcane: Current Status and Future Prospects

Front Plant Sci. 2021 Sep 27;12:708233. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2021.708233. eCollection 2021.


Sugarcane is a C4 and agro-industry-based crop with a high potential for biomass production. It serves as raw material for the production of sugar, ethanol, and electricity. Modern sugarcane varieties are derived from the interspecific and intergeneric hybridization between Saccharum officinarum, Saccharum spontaneum, and other wild relatives. Sugarcane breeding programmes are broadly categorized into germplasm collection and characterization, pre-breeding and genetic base-broadening, and varietal development programmes. The varietal identification through the classic breeding programme requires a minimum of 12-14 years. The precise phenotyping in sugarcane is extremely tedious due to the high propensity of lodging and suckering owing to the influence of environmental factors and crop management practices. This kind of phenotyping requires data from both plant crop and ratoon experiments conducted over locations and seasons. In this review, we explored the feasibility of genomic selection schemes for various breeding programmes in sugarcane. The genetic diversity analysis using genome-wide markers helps in the formation of core set germplasm representing the total genomic diversity present in the Saccharum gene bank. The genome-wide association studies and genomic prediction in the Saccharum gene bank are helpful to identify the complete genomic resources for cane yield, commercial cane sugar, tolerances to biotic and abiotic stresses, and other agronomic traits. The implementation of genomic selection in pre-breeding, genetic base-broadening programmes assist in precise introgression of specific genes and recurrent selection schemes enhance the higher frequency of favorable alleles in the population with a considerable reduction in breeding cycles and population size. The integration of environmental covariates and genomic prediction in multi-environment trials assists in the prediction of varietal performance for different agro-climatic zones. This review also directed its focus on enhancing the genetic gain over time, cost, and resource allocation at various stages of breeding programmes.

PMID:34646284 | PMC:PMC8502939 | DOI:10.3389/fpls.2021.708233


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