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  • 1 U.P. Council of Sugarcane Research Shahjahanpur 242 001 India
  • 2 Ch. C. S. University Dept. of Microbiology Meerut 225 004 India
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Research on sugarcane biotechnology began in the 1960s with in vitro culture. Serious efforts to improve sugarcane crops by molecular approaches have commenced only in the past two decades. There is an increasing pressure worldwide to enhance the productivity of sugarcane in order to sustain profitable sugar industries, while there are several diseases attacking sugarcane and reducing the quality of the crop. Biotechnological approaches for sugarcane improvement have been applied in the areas of: (1) cell and tissue culture for rapid propagation genetic transformation and molecular breeding, (2) engineering novel genes into commercial cultivars, (3) molecular diagnostics of sugarcane pathogens, (4) developing genetic maps using molecular marker technology, (5) understanding the molecular basis of sucrose accumulation in the stem, (6) molecular testing of plants for clonal fidelity, (7) variety identification and (8) molecular characterization of various traits. Most of the current research in sugarcane biotechnology is recently focused primarily on transgenic and marker assisted breeding. Advancements have made it possible to sequence the complete genome of increasingly complex organisms and to clone and transfer individual genes to engineer new traits.

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