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1 July 2005 SUGARCANE BIOTECHNOLOGY: THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
PRAKASH LAKSHMANAN, R. JASON GEIJSKES, KAREN S. AITKEN, CHRISTOPHER L. P. GROF, GRAHAM D. BONNETT, GRANT R. SMITH
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Abstract

Commercial sugarcane, belonging to the genus Saccharum (Poaceae), is an important industrial crop accounting for nearly 70% of sugar produced worldwide. Compared to other major crops, efforts to improve sugarcane are limited and relatively recent, with the first introduction of interspecific hybrids about 80 yr ago. Progress in traditional breeding of sugarcane, a highly polyploid and frequently aneuploid plant, is impeded by its narrow gene pool, complex genome, poor fertility, and the long breeding/selection cycle. These constraints, however, make sugarcane a good candidate for molecular breeding. In the past decade considerable progress has been made in understanding and manipulating the sugarcane genome using various biotechnological and cell biological approaches. Notable among them are the creation of transgenic plants with improved agronomic or other important traits, advances in genomics and molecular markers, and progress in understanding the molecular aspects of sucrose transport and accumulation. More recently, substantial effort has been directed towards developing sugarcane as a biofactory for high-value products. While these achievements are commendable, a greater understanding of the sugarcane genome, and cell and whole plant physiology, will accelerate the implementation of commercially significant biotechnology outcomes. We anticipate that the rapid advancements in molecular biology and emerging biotechnology innovations would play a significant role in the future sugarcane crop improvement programs and offer many new opportunities to develop it as a new-generation industrial crop.

PRAKASH LAKSHMANAN, R. JASON GEIJSKES, KAREN S. AITKEN, CHRISTOPHER L. P. GROF, GRAHAM D. BONNETT, and GRANT R. SMITH "SUGARCANE BIOTECHNOLOGY: THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES," In Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Plant 41(4), 345-363, (1 July 2005). https://doi.org/10.1079/IVP2005643
Received: 5 October 2004; Accepted: 1 February 2005; Published: 1 July 2005
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