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Biotechnology predicting the future of sugarcane

Alejandra Londoño and Fernando S Aguilar

The presence of this pest was reported in the south of Valle del Cauca, mainly in the municipalities of Miranda and Florida.

By: Alejandra Londoño and Fernando S Aguilar. Cenicaña Biotechnology Area

In the quest to make informed decisions in the sugarcane genetic improvement process, the use of molecular markers is being evaluated through genomic selection methodology. 

Molecular markers are natural variations in DNA that provide information about sugarcane plant characteristics, such as % sucrose and TCH. Molecular markers could be compared to road signs on a highway, which inform the characteristics of a place such as names, distances and the presence of cultural centers and/or nearby populations. Genomic selection makes use of the information provided by molecular markers to predict agronomic characteristics of future sugarcane varieties. With these predictions we can choose in a more informed way the progeny that presents the greatest probability of success in the fields of the Cauca River valley. This with a view to efficient use of resources that supports the productivity and sustainability of agroindustry.

Currently, the biotechnology laboratory is carrying out a genomic selection pilot test, where information will be obtained on more than 5.000 molecular markers in 16.000 individuals from the first selection stage of the semi-dry environment in 2026. This will help in the selection of the best varieties by predict the agronomic behavior of the evaluated individuals.

*Ashy researcher
**Ashy researcher

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