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Field evaluation of diverse sugarcane germplasm in agroclimatic conditions of Tandojam, Sindh

Muhammad Tahir Khan, Imtiaz Ahmed Khan, Shafquat Yasmeen, Nighat Seema, and Ghulam Shah Nizamani

Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) is the major source of sugar in Pakistan. Development of new high yielding cane varieties is crucial to enhance its production to meet the ever-increasing demands of sugar. In this study, 41 sugarcane genotypes were evaluated in randomized complete block design in field conditions, with three replications. Seven quantitative characteristics of the crop including stalk height, number of tillers per plant, cane girth, length of the internodes, number of internodes per stalk, weight per stool, and the cane yield were analysed; whereas seven quality related traits (brix%, CCS%, fiber%, sucrose%, purity%, sugar recovery, and sugar yield) were also investigated. The dependency of cane and sugar yield on these parameters was determined through correlation and scatter plot analysis. The analysis of variance revealed significant differences among genotypes for all the characteristics studied. NIA223P3 showed substantial superiority recording highest cane yield of 63.33 t ha-1 against 51.66 t ha-1 of the check (Thatta-10). CSSG-272 surpassed all of the genotypes under study in terms of sugar yield (5.86 t ha-1), while, least sugar yield was observed in S2003SPSG-12 (1.76 t ha-1). Maximum cane height was recorded in BL4P70 (262.0 cm), whereas NIA86-223 exhibited the highest cane girth (2.5). Moreover, regarding juice quality related traits, TSG-21 performed exceptionally good with CCS%, brix%, and sucrose% values of 11.58%, 20.5%, and 16.35%, respectively. Lowest qualitative parameters were, on the other hand, observed in NIA223P3 (CCS%, sucrose%, purity, and sugar recovery values of 5.49%, 9.18%, 68.32%, and 5.16%, respectively). Scatter plots of the data and the correlation analysis depicted that the cane weight, tillers per plant, internode length, and plant height contributed the most towards the cane yield. It was also seen that the quantitative traits were highly correlated with other quantitative traits however, negative correlations were observed among quantitative and qualitative characteristics.

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