Sugarcane Breeding Institute is one of the two World repositories (the other being at Miami, Florida, USA) of sugarcane germplasm. The institute is maintaining world’s largest in situ germplasm collection. Besides this independent and joint expeditions in collaboration with other national agencies for the collection of different species of Saccharum and related genera constitute is an ongoing activity of the Institute.


Field gene bank– Major part of the sugarcane germplasm (Saccharum officinarumS.barberiS.sinenseS.robustum S. edule)is being maintained at SBI Research Centre, Kannur (Kerala state) while the wild species such as S.spontaneumErianthus spp., and the related genera are maintained at Coimbatore. Some of the clones collected from high altitude viz., Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalya could not establish and flowered at Coimbatore, so S.spontaneum clones from Arunachal Pradesh, E. fulvus and Miscanthus nepalensis collected from Meghalya are maintained at IARI Regional Station, Wellington.


Seed Bank- Poly cross true seeds of S. spontaneum and National Active Germplasm (NAG) varieties are collected each year, tested for germination and viable seeds are sent for long term storage in National Gene Bank at NBPGR, New Delhi along with passport information.


in vitro conservation- In vitro culture facility has been initiated at Kannur Research Centre for conserving the germplasm in phases

Germplasm Holdings held at this Institute

Location Species / genera Indian accessions ISSCT accessions
SBI, Coimbatore
S. spontaneum
Erianthus spp.
Allied genera
SBI, Kannur
S. officinarum
S. barberi
Erianthus spp.
Allied genera
SBI, Agali
S. officinarum
IARI, Wellington
S. spontaneum
Erianthus rufipilus
Miscanthus nepalensis

Exploration of germplasm

It is one of the priority areas of activities was started by the institute as early in 1912. Since then several explorations conducted by the Institute for the collection of Saccharum germplasm from different geographical and climatic regimes of the country. In the recent past explorations were conducted in Gujarat (Sep 2007) Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (Aug-Sept 2009). Gujarat had not been explored previously for wild sugarcane germplasm and no accessions from there existed in the germplasm collection.The distribution of S. spontaneum in Gujarat was occasional and mostly found on river banks, dry river beds and field bunds. But it was commonly seen in Kutch district in western Gujarat and in isolated areas in north Gujarat. They were dwarf or medium tall types. A total of 32 accessions of S. spontaneum were collected from different districts in Gujarat. 28 clones of S. spontaneumErianthus fulvus and Miscanthus were collected from 9 districts of Himachal Pradesh and 25 clones (S. spontaneum and Miscanthus ) were collected from 10 districts of Uttarakhand.

The details of germplasm explorations are listed in this table

Characterization and Documentation

The major part of the species-germplasm available at present had been evaluated for agro-morphological attributes and flowering and the information had been documented in the germplasm catalogues published from the Institute. The germplasm had also been evaluated for specific attributes like earliness based on sucrose content and purity at 7th month and waterlogging resistance at Kannur. The germplasm Catalogues and databases published from the Institute are listed in this table.

Enhancement of Genetic Resources

Improvement of species-germplasm is being carried out through intra-specific hybridization and selection within the Saccharum species. The improved species-hybrids are being used in the interspecific hybridization. Attempts are also under way to broaden the cytoplasmic base of the hybrids using Saccharum barberiS. sinenseS. spontaneum and Erianthus arundinaceus as female parents in hybridization.

Interspecific and intergeneric hybrids are continuously developed and evaluated and superior hybrids are inducted into the breeding pools periodically. Nearly 300 such hybrids have been evaluated under sub-tropical conditions at Karnal (Haryana State) also, and some of the superior hybrids have been inducted in the breeding programmes.


Improved genetic stocks maintained at Sugarcane Breeding Institute

Center Material No. of Clones
SBI Research Center, Kannur
Indian hybrids
Foreign hybrids ((ISSCT) and subsequenct introductions
Indo American (IA) Clones
SBI Research Center, Agali
Improved clones of S.spontaneum
Improved clones of S.barberi
Interspecific hybrids
NDHF (hybrid clones

Registration of germplasm

The Germplasm Registration Committee of Indian Council of Agricultural Research had approved 22 sugarcane hybrids developed at the Institute for registration as germplasm. They are:
Clone No. Registration No. Characters for which registered
INGR No. 05021 IC 522943
Saccharum x Sorghum hybrid
CYM 04-420
INGR NO. 08039; IC 556971
Erianthus arundinaceus x Saccharum spontaneum hybrid
with Erianthus cytoplasm
Co 92002
INGR NO. 08040; IC 556972
1. A rare recombinant of commercial value involving
the wild species Saccharum robustum;

2. Combining high cane yield and sugar yield with
tolerance to drought and resistance to smut

3. Tall canes
Co 93009
INGR NO. 08041; IC 522951
1. A clone of commercial status combining high cane yield
and red rot resistance

2. Heavy Canes with high single cane weight
Co 99006
INGR No. 08042; IC No. 556976
1. A high sugar variety

2.Tolerant to water logging.
SCGS 00-0402
INGR No. 09053; IC No. 565019
A pre-breeding stock identify as a source for
early high sugar content coupled
with high CCS% and juice purity
Co 97016
INGR No. 09052; IC 56501
1. It is rare recombinant involving wild Saccharum robustum in the parentage

2. It is high cane and sugar yielder

3. It is tolerant to water logging, salinity and drought in sub tropical conditions of India
Co 91002
INGR No. 09131; IC565021
1. It is a unique genetic stock for .
early sugar accumulation at 300 days of crop age.
2. It combines resistance to drought and smut
Co 0120
INGR No. 09130; IC565020
1. A high juice quality clone

2. Attain sucrose maturity early in the season (at 240 days)
SBIEC 11001
INGR No. 12016 IC No. 0594462
It is a sugarcane hybrid with high biomass production.
Total expected biomass production of 279. t/ha and
dry biomass of 101.23 t/ha
SBIEC 11002
INGR No. 12017 IC No. 0594463
A dual purpose energy cane combining high fibre content of 22.58 % and high Brix (15.92).
High harvestable biomass potential of 247.5 t/ha and dry biomass of 82.2 t/ha.
Co 0230
INGR No. 12018 IC No. 0594465
It is a water-logging resistant variety suitable for North Central India with 51.34 %
higher cane yield than BO 99. This variety has high ratoonability also.
CYM 08-903
INGR13019 IC0594482
Sugarcane hybrid with cytoplasm from wild Erianthus arundinaceus.
Derivative of (Erianthus arundinaceus x Saccharum spontaneum) x sugarcane hybrid.
A good parent giving high red rot resistant
progeny in crosses with sugarcane varieties..
INGR13050 IC0594464
Energy cane combining high fibre and high biomass
SES 159
INGR13070 IC0561900
Erianthus arundinaceus with high biomass,
high yield, high NMC and C.O.D., amenability for in vitro.
INGR13071 IC0598218
4-th generation self of Co 1148 with high sucrose, red rot resistance and with proven progeny performance.
SBI 2007-291
INGR14011 IC0598475
A sugarcane clone combining early high sugar
(sucrose >18% at 8 month and 22 % at 10 months) with red rot resistance,
suitable as a short duration variety High cane population and good rationing
potential suitable for harvesting from 240 to 300 days after planting.
IG 91-1100
IC0612055 INGR15031
CoC 772x Erianthus arundinaceus. Potential parent for high yield and quality
GU-04 (28) EO2
IC 0612056 INGR15032
True and unique intergeneric hybrid of
Erianthus procerus x Saccharum officinarum. Drought tolerant.
(IND90-776 x PIO96-435)
GU-04 (50) RE16
IC0612058 INGR15033
Unique and true intergeneric hybrid between
S.robustum and E.arundinaceus Sugarcane. (PIR 00-1100x IK76-91)
GU-08 SSH66
IC0612060 INGR15034
Intergeneric hybrid between sugarcane and sweet sorghum.
High early sugar accumulation. Resistant to red rot. (Co 0238 x SOS 250)
99 WL 379
IC0612061 INGR15035
Waterlogging resistant clone. High stem nitrogen content and
high juice quality under waterlogging conditions. (Co 7313 x Co 96011)

National Active Germplasm (NAG)

Sugarcane Breeding Institute is a designated centre for National Active Germplasm Site (NAGS) for sugarcane under National Plant Biodiversity Conservation Network of NBPGR. Registered genetic stocks and released / notified commercial varieties are conserved as active collections for reference and distribution to bonafide researchers.As on April 2016, 226 registered germplasm and notified varieties are being maintained in the field.

♥ The available NAG collections is listed in this table


♥ Sugarcane Germplasm registered with NBPGR, New Delhi  in this table

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