Sugarcane Improvement Through
Tissue Culture Technology
Sugarcane is one of the most
important cash crop of Pakistan. Our entire sugar need and
multibillion-sugar industry is solely dependent on the fate of
this crop. Although Pakistan is the fifth largest sugarcane
country of the world but our per acre yield of this crop is
lowest all over the world. Average production of sugarcane in
different countries of the world is about 800 -1000 mound per
acre while in Pakistan it is only 458 mound per acre which is
the real cause of the high cost of production. There are many
reasons for that but the most important one is non
availability of disease free elite stock for seeding.
A significant part of the crop is lost each year due to different diseases
caused by virus, bacteria and fungi. It is estimated that
different diseases of sugarcane can cause 10-77% decrease in
the production of sugarcane.
Similarly seed cutting and seed
handling methods of our farmers is also the main source of
regular transmission of infection in plants. Lack of advanced
technologies in sugarcane propagation and lack of
multiplication procedure has long been a serious problem in
sugarcane breeding program. Usually, after 10 to 15 years of
work to complete a selection cycle, an improved variety can be
planted commercially several years later, when enough seed
canes will have been produced.
Therefore there is a dire need to introduce modern
technologies along with conventional agricultural practices in
order to uplift our agricultural system. Introduction of new
and innovative technologies like tissue culture in plant
propagation has opened tremendous opportunities to develop the
healthy, disease free and vigorous planting material.
Keeping in view the importance and spectacular applications of
plant tissue culture, AgriBiotech
has established a
state of art plant tissue culture laboratory for cloning of
Agri Buotech is a multi disciplinary orgnisation set up by
a fine blend of professionals and technocrats well versed with
practical application of agriculture biotechnologies and its
future potentialities in development of agriculture as an
In sugarcane after a long pursuance and hectic experimentation
we successfully developed protocols for tissue culture
propagation of almost all the popular sugarcane varieties in
Pakistan . tissue cultured plants are available from September
2001. Monno seeds are the authorized distributor of
AgriBiotech,s tissue cultured sugarcane .this seed will be
available at all the sale points of Monno seeds. The
Prospective growers are requested to register their demand at
Monno seeds By July 2001
Tissue culture is the cloning of plants from mother plant.
Tissues from mother plant are taken out and grown in nutrient
media following the protocol. A protocol for a particular
variety is a detailed procedure to multiply it. Development of
protocol is an iterative and research oriented process. The
process involves selection of a mother plant, developing the
mother plant into plantlets under controlled conditions,
development of roots of these plantlets
and finally hardening the plant in the greenhouse.
Major Advantages of Tissue culture
1. Plants are vigorous,
healthy, disease free and of a premium quality.
2. Yield increases from 50 - 100 % depending upon
3. Sugar recovery increase by 1 - 2 %
4. Four ratoon crops can be achieved successfully.
5. Seed sets germination is almost 100% which reduces the seed
requirement to (one third).
6. Vigorous growth tendency due to profuse root system
development which normally results healthy growth and no
7. Average tillerage observed was 20 - 40 tillers per plant
8. Reduce lodging which will also decrease the infestation of
insects and pests.
9. Lower production cost due to high sugar and cane yield per
10. Vigorous growth and development results greater disease
11. Availability of high quality vigorous and |. disease free
seed at affordable price round the year.
12 Every bud sprouts at least thrice
Available Sugarcane Tissue Cultured
2. CP- 77-400
3. CP 81-1435
4. ABT super
5. BF - 162
6. SPSG - 26
7. SPF - 234
8. BL - 4
9. T - 10
Preparation of commercial seed:
Zero Generation Seed
Mericlones are multiplied only with contract growing
arrangements to closely monitor the quality and standard of
Seed developed from mericlones is considered as first
This seed is developed through aseptic mechanical cutter to
avoid the possibility of infestation of disease and
Cuts seeds are treated with plant protection material and
growth promoter to get the highest and earliest germination.
Treated seeds are properly packed.
Land Preparation for Sugarcane Cultivation:
Sugarcane remains in the field for about 2 to 3 years due to
the practice of raising one to two ratoon crops. Therefore a
thorough soil preparation once in 3 to 3 years is essential.
About 45 cm depth of the soil should be well prepared because
about 75% of the sugarcane root system is present at this soil
layer. An ideal soil condition is that where there is 50% soil
particles (45% mineral matter and 5 % organic matter), 25 %
air and 25 % water,
Land preparation for sugarcane starts with the preceeding crop
residues If the remains of previous crop are there in the
field rotavator is used so that the stubble get incorporated
with the soil. Then the field is left for 8-10 days in for
Then cross ploughing is done which may be followed by
harrowing. Before last ploughing farm Yard Manure or 3 10
tonnes of pressmud ( according to soil conditions) per acre
may be applied. Use of organic matter is very important
because beside providing plant nutrients organic matter helps
in improving soil structure, water holding capacity and
microbial activity. They also help in the release of some of
the plant nutrients such as phosphorous and micronutrients.
Lastly ridges are formed with tractor at the distance of 3.5
feet.( lane to lane distance should be 3.5 feet)
Recommended planting Pattern:
Ridges and furrow method is more useful for sugarcane
planting. In this system first basal manure (Phospahte
fertilizer) is placed in the furrow bottom and mixed slightly
with the soil, The treated setre are placed at the distance of
3 feet from each other. Then the setts are covered with soil
Sugarcane is long duration crop and requires large quantity of
water. It is mostly grown as an irrigated crop. A 12
month crop receives about 16 to 20 irrigations For good yield
in sugarcane availability of adequate amount of water
is extremely important. Shortage of water adversely effect
growth, size and weight of sugarcane. The water demand varies
according to climatic conditions, temperature and rain fall..
According to our environmental conditions usually in April 12
-14 days interval is recommended for sugarcane irrigation. In
May and June 10 days interval, in July and August 12 -15 days
and in September and October 15- 20 days interval is ideal.
While in November, December, January and February only one
irrigation per month is advisable.
Urea + DAP
Urea + SSP
(Bags per Acre)
(Bags per Acre)
(Bags per Acre)
4 + 2
5 + 5
3 + 2
5 + 4
2 + 1
2.5 + 2.5
Basal: Full phosphorous and potash applied in the furrow bottom
before Sowing Planting right below the root zone.
At 30 days:
1/3 N + applied as band placement, close to the rows And
partially earthen up.
After 60 days: 1/3 N applied
to the base and slightly earthen up.
After 90 days: 1/3 N applied to
the base and fully earthen up given.
Each manuring should be done after weeding and manuring should
be followed by irrigation. Ratoon crop needs 25 % more fertilizer.
Pre Harvest Fertilizer :
To obtain healthy setts with more moisture, more reducing
sugars and with higher nutrient content prefertilizing the nursery crop about
6 to 8 weeks
prior to harvest is suggested. A dosage of 25 kg N: 10 kg P :
10 kg K per acre
may be applied.
For Further Information Contact:
Dr Fayyaz Ahmad Siddiqui
Chief executive, AgriBiotech, 14-Km Multan Road Lahore,
Ph# 7511506, 0300-8440216 Fax # 7511844