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Genetics and Cytogenetics

Cytogenetics is an important component section under the Crop Improvement Division. The activities of this section were guided by the services of stalwarts like late E.K. Janaki Ammal who worked as Geneticist from 1934–1939 at this Institute. Studies on the transmission of gametes among the crosses involving different sugarcane species was one of the major areas of work under the section. The transmission was 2n gametes from Saccharum officinarum (2n = 80) as female in crosses with S. spontaneum as male, but it was n + n transmission in the reciprocal crosses. Extensive cytological investigations have been carried out on the large assemblage of wild related species of sugarcane by this section. These studies revealed the existence of a wide polyploidy series in S. spontaneum (2n = 40, 48, 56, 64, 72, 80, 96, 104, 112, 120 and 128). Cytological characterization of germplasm accessions are currently being regularly carried out and chromosome number of these clones also being determined. Other studies include production of inter-specific and inter-generic hybrids involving Saccharum with Sorghum, Imperata, Sclerostachya, Miscanthus, Erianthus and Zea and their cytogenetic relationships. Near commercial sugarcane hybrids with Erianthus arundinaceus or S. spontaneum cytoplasm were developed and were confirmed by chloroplast or mitochondrial DNA polymorphism. More details on the genetical and cytogenetical studies in sugarcane can be viewed under this link

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