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Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program                                                            
Phase 3 (2007 Deadline)

Enhance Sugarcane Production in Pakistan by Modern Breeding Technology  
Yong-Bao Pan, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Houma, LA
Windell Jackson, American Sugar Cane League, Thibodaux, LA

Javed Iqbal, University of the Punjab, Lahore
Pakistani Funding (HEC):  $ 71,000
US Funding (State):   $ 85,000

Project Dates on US Side: September 1, 2008 - June 30, 2013

Project Overview

Sugarcane (Saccharum hybrids) is one of the most important cash crops in Pakistan. Before the initiation of this project, no research had been conducted in Pakistan on molecular marker identification for major diseases affecting sugarcane. The partners on this project have launched what they hope will be a long-term collaborative study to identify DNA markers that are closely linked to resistance genes for red rot, rust, and ratoon stunting disease and eventually for other diseases such as sugarcane mosaic virus and smut as well.

Major Results

  • Hosted year-long training visits by three Pakistani PhD students to Dr. Pan’s laboratory, with another PhD student being advised by Dr. Pan via e-mail
  • Organized month-long visits by Pakistani principal investigator Dr. Javed Iqbal and co-principal investigator Dr. Shahid Afghan to several US sugarcane research institutions
  • Developed and published a paper on SSR-based DNA fingerprinting for screening of red rot-resistant and susceptible sugarcane cultivars from Pakistan
  • Identified and published a paper on two SCAR markers associated with rust resistance in sugarcane using Bulk Segregant Analysis-Random Amplification Polymorphic DNA approach
  • Identified and deposited to GenBank database 15 resistant gene analogues (RGA) and characterized nucleotide sequence variations between cultivars either resistant or susceptible to red rot or ratoon stunting diseases

Quarterly Update

During spring 2013, email communications continue between Dr. Pan and the PhD student Ms. Mehwish Khan regarding her dissertation research. A research paper from this project titled “Genetic variability among the brown rust resistant and susceptible genotypes of sugarcane by RAPD technique” was published on Pakistan Journal of Botany earlier this year. From June 12-14, 2013, Dr. Pan will present a poster paper entitled “Use of SSR Markers for DNA Fingerprinting and Diversity Analysis of Pakistani Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) Cultivars” at the upcoming joint Annual Meeting of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, to be held at Panama City Beach, FL. The paper is coauthored by Dr. Y.-B. Pan, U. Hameed, M. Khushi, S. Afghan and J. Iqbal. This project will soon be closed at the end of June 2013.

Progress Report Summaries

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