SRDC Research Project final report Increased CCS, cane yield and water use efficiency by exploiting interactions between genetics and management
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In October 2003 delegates at an international workshop on sugarcane physiology funded by SRDC concluded that priority should be directed at a better understanding of traits responsible for high yield and high sucrose content, in order to better design future genotypes. While pathways of sucrose accumulation were and are being investigated at the molecular and cellular levels, there was no concurrent work at the crop level. Consequently it is difficult to answer the questions- To what extent will genetic improvements be modified by management and the environment? and conversely, To what extent does management and environment influence the selection of varieties? These and other questions about the genotype x environment (GxE) interaction on sucrose accumulation and lodging were the major concerns of this project with sucrose accumulation as the predominant issue. This project forms part of a large effort now underway worldwide to find alternative methods to develop cultivars with improved sugar content. The main objective was to better understand the interactions between sugarcane genetics and the environment (including management) with respect to sugar accumulation. After four years of intensive work the project has delivered extensive new knowledge on the physiology of interactions between sugarcane genetics and the environment with respect to sugar accumulation and lodging and as such has met the main objective of the research.