This project aims to produce the first genome assembly of a cultivated sugarcane plant. To date no Saccharum species have been sequenced due to their large complex polyploid genomes. Cultivated sugarcane is grown throughout the tropics and sub tropic regions of the world and it produces 80% of the world’s sugar. Sugarcane is a C4 plant and is considered the most efficient biomass producer of all cultivated crops. Commercial cultivars are hybrids between two species, Saccharum officinarum which is the high sugar producing phenotype and S. spontaneum, a wild relative with low sucrose but which has contributed abiotic and biotic resistance. This project proposes to complete the first draft genome sequence of a cultivated sugarcane variety R570.
Proposer: Karen Aitken, CSIRO (Australia)