Breeding strategies for commercially elite early maturing varieties of sugarcane (saccharum speciescomplex)

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Twenty one sugarcane crosses including 13 inter varietal, 4 poly crosses and 4 general crosses were evaluated for obtaining commercially elite early maturing genotypes resistant to red rot at SRI, Shahjahanpur during 1996-2001. The clonal selections were initiated during early stages of sugar accumulation on the basis of HR brix of the seedlings, agronomical performance as well as HR brix at first (C1), high sugar content as well as incidence of diseases and pests at second (C2) and third (C3) clonal stages. These traits were used for selecting desirable early maturing clones. Among the crosses studied Co 86011 x CoS 510, general crosses CoS 8119, Co 1148, Co 1158 and poly cross Colk 8102 proved better for early maturity, yield and red rot resistance, indicating that biparental, general and poly crosses of widely adopted varieties may be more rewarding. Early maturing varieties CoS 01259, CoS 02258, CoS 01265, CoS 02262 and CoS 02266 were selected from this experimental population which recorded numerically better quality, significantly superior cane and sugar yield and red rot resistance than the popular early check variety CoJ 64.

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