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Shafquat Yasmeen, Muhammad Tahir Rajput, Imtiaz Ahmed Khan and Syeda Saleha Hasseny

Sugarcane is an important field crop of tropics and sub-tropics. Three sugarcane varieties viz. NIA-0819, NIA-98 and BL4 were subjected to induced mutations by using four different doses of gamma radiation (10, 20, 30 and 40Gy).Data on various parameters were collected including auricle, legule, stalk colour, bud shape, number of tillers plant-1, number of internodes, stool weight, cane yield, brix %, purity %, commercial cane sugar (CCS %), sucrose %, and sugar yield. Significant differences were observed for most of the traits in the study. The maximum tillers plant-1 was recorded in NIA-98 at 20Gy and the lowest number of tillers plant-1 was seen in BL4 at 30Gy. Best stool girth was observed at 20Gy in NIA-98. However, longer length leaf was obtained in NIA-0819 at 20Gy, while the short leaf length was recorded in BL4at 40Gy. The maximum brix % was observed in BL4 at 30 and 40Gy. Commercial cane sugar percentage was highest at 10Gy in NIA98. The maximum sugar yields were obtained at 10Gy in NIA-98 whereas; the minimum sugar yield was recorded at 40Gy in BL4. Highest cane yield was achieved at 10Gy in NIA-0819, followed by 20Gy in NIA-98. The gamma radiation doses of 30 and 40Gy showed negative effect on the cane yield in all varieties. Thus, somaclones of NIA-0819at 20Gy and NIA-98 at 10Gy showed the best performance in respect of cane yield, sugar yield and juice quality. Cluster analysis divided the genotypes into four major groups. The cluster I was distinguished by its highest sucrose%, sugar yield, and leaf width values. Whereas, cluster II was observed to be unique in terms of its highest plant height, internodes length, leaf length, CCS% and purity %. Moreover, cluster III represented the group of genotypes having maximum quantitative traits (plant height, number of tiller/plant, stool weight, girth, number of internodes, internodes length and cane yield) coupled with low qualitative observations. Furthermore, cluster IV encompassing five genotypes, showed excellent qualitative characteristics along with low quantitative traits. Hybridizing the genotypes from different clusters of the analysis can be of promising outcomes in terms of getting the genetic diversity among progeny plants for further evaluation in cane breeding programs

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