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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: NEW AND IMPROVED CULTURAL PRACTICES FOR SUSTAINABLE SUGARCANE PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

Location: Sugarcane Research Unit

Title: Screening for tolerance to periodic flooding for cane grown for sucrose and bioenergy

Authors
item Viator, Ryan
item White, Paul
item Hale, Anna
item Waguespack, Herman -

Submitted to: Biomass and Bioenergy
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 6, 2012
Publication Date: May 16, 2012
Citation: Viator, R.P., White Jr, P.M., Hale, A.L., Waguespack, H.L. 2012. Screening for tolerance to periodic flooding for cane grown for sucrose and bioenergy. Biomass and Bioenergy. 44:56-63. Available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.04.007.

Interpretive Summary: To prevent negative impacts on food production, energy crops in Louisiana will have to be grown on marginal lands that in some cases may be prone to flooding. A study was initiated to compare the flood tolerance of energycane and sugarcane. During a three year crop cycle, field plots of two high fiber/low sugar energycane clones, L 79-1002 and Ho 01-12, and two low fiber/high sugar sugarcane clones, HoCP 96-540 and L 99-226, were flooded monthly for seven days and were compared to plots that were adequately drained. Energycane tolerated the flooded conditions better than sugarcane when biomass and sucrose yields were compared between treatments. To sustainable produce sugar under periodic flooding, an extensive screening of the collection of parental material being used in the Louisiana sugarcane varietal development program is needed to determine if genes for flood tolerance exists locally or if other sources of these genes are needed. Otherwise exotic sugarcane clones or wild relatives may need to be utilized to develop flood tolerant sugarcanes for sugar production. In Louisiana were sugar production is not economically sustainable with existing clones, an alternative to development of flood tolerant sugarcane would be to utilize energycanes for production of cellulosic biomass in areas prone to flooded conditions because existing energycane clones are tolerant to periodic flooding.

Technical Abstract: To prevent negative impacts on food production, energy crops in Louisiana will have to be grown on marginal lands that in some cases may be prone to flooding. Two high fiber/low sugar energycane clones, 79-1002 and Ho 01-12, and two low fiber/high sugar sugarcane clones, HoCP 96-540 and L 99-226, were grown under periodic flooded and adequately drained conditions to determine if energycane is better suited for cultivation than sugarcane under these stressed field conditions. Periodic flooding consisted of a 7 d duration flood applied every month from February to August. Energycane tolerated the flooded conditions better than sugarcane when biomass and sucrose yields were compared between treatments. Tolerance to flooding was demonstrated in the plant cane and ratoon crops of L 79-1002, and in the ratoon crops of Ho 01-12. Flooding reduced sucrose yields of the two sugarcanes by 23 and 24% in plant and ratoon crops, respectively. Based on total yield loss divided by the number of flooded days, each day of flooding reduced sucrose yields for HoCP 96-540 and L 99-226 by 50 kg ha-1 in plant cane and 30 kg ha-1 for the average of the first and second ratoons. An extensive screening of Louisiana sugarcane clones is needed to determine if flood tolerance exists within this germplasm. Otherwise exotic sugarcane clones or wild relatives may need to be utilized to develop flood-tolerant sugarcane. If sucrose cannot be produced economically under periodic flooding, energycane for production of cellulosic biomass may be a viable alternative because existing energycane clones are tolerant to periodic flooding.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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