Identification of genes of agronomic interest

Main facts and strategies that have marked the investigation in genetic identification in sugar cane.


Cenicaña begins work on the isolation of genes related to the efficient use of water in plants. It is sought that these genes, when used in the genetic transformation of cane varieties, help to decrease productivity losses due to water stress.

It works in two strategies:


Strategy I

Identify genes that contribute to the efficient use of water that have been studied in other crop species and isolate sugarcane homologues.

2011 | Five sugar cane genes belonging to the DREB, ERF and IPT families are isolated, which in crops such as rice, corn and soy are known to contribute to the efficient use of water.

Strategy II

The productivity maps are graphical representations of the variations of the proIdentify the cane genes that are activated in efficient and non-efficient varieties in the use of water in conditions of deficit or waterlogging.

2011 | Second generation sequencing methodologies are used to study, in sugarcane varieties, the genes that are activated in conditions of water stress. With this, the line of research in bioinformatics was born.

2013 | Using bioinformatics tools Cenicaña identifies 6963 cane genes that modify its expression pattern in conditions of water deficit or waterlogging. In addition, a ranking of these genes to facilitate selection and evaluate them through genetic transformation.



The selected cane genes are used to initiate the transformation of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which has a short life cycle and can be easily transformed using the bacteria Agrobacterium tumefaciens. In nature, this bacterium is capable of transforming, with its genetic material, the roots of some plants. In the laboratory, a portion of this material is replaced with isolated cane genes to evaluate its function in Arabidopsis thaliana.