DNA fingerprinting to boost sugarcane breeding productivity

06 September 2016

This sugarcane crop can produce up to 4.5 million tonnes of raw sugar and 1 million tonnes of molasses. Approximately 85% of the raw sugar produced in Queensland is exported, generating up to $2.0 billion in export earnings for Queensland while production from the New South Wales sugar industry is refined and sold into the domestic market. To ensure that Australia’s sugarcane industry continues to be productive and profitable, Sugar Research Australia (SRA) operates 10 research farms, laboratories, and offices across the Australian sugarcane industry with a research effort that extends across the industry and supports all growers and millers. SRA invests in and manages a portfolio of research, development and adoption projects that drive productivity, profitability and sustainability for the Australian sugarcane industry. One of the main objectives for SRA is to maximise economic profits for the industry (growers and millers) through genetic improvement of new varieties.

To support Australia’s sugarcane industry, SRA’s 150 staff operate nationally to drive research, development, and adoption for the Australian sugarcane industry.

We spoke with Dr George Piperidis (Leader, Crossing and Selection), from SRA on one of their recent projects that looks at quality control in the plant breeding and selection program to ensure a unique identification of sugarcane varieties. See full story