Crop Biotech Update

JIRCAS Develops Sugarcane Variety that Withstand Extreme Climatic Conditions

October 10, 2012

The Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS) aims to expand agriculture to areas under inferior environmental conditions to increase food and energy production. To make these semi-arid areas fully productive, the research institute is developing various crops that can adapt and survive in extreme climatic conditions. Among the crops being improved by JIRCAS is the sugarcane.

To develop an improved variety, JIRCAS will introduce the superior feature of erianthus to sugarcane. Erianthus is a perennial grass and a wild relative of sugarcane which is good for biomass production given its high photosynthetic ability. It is also tolerant to drought and infertile soil conditions because of its big and deep root system. JIRCAS is in collaboration with the Khon Kaen Field Crops Research Center, under Thailand's Department of Agriculture since the said research institute has abundant genetic resources of erianthus.

 For more information, visit JIRCAS' website at http://www.jircas.affrc.go.jp/index.html.