Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources
9783642211010 3642211011 9783642211027 364221102X
The genus Erianthus is related to Saccharum (sugarcane) and Miscanthus (a potential energy crop), and is part of the Saccharum complex. Taxonomy of Erianthus is confusing: some taxonomists regard Erianthus as being within the genus Saccharum, although molecular studies tend to support a separation. Some Erianthus species may provide high biomass yields, particularly in marginal environments, offering potential low cost feedstock for future bioenergy production systems. Erianthus is also a potential resource for genetic improvement for sugarcane, with a strong interest amongst sugarcane breeders in incorporating desirable traits, particularly vigor and adaptation to adverse environments. Fertile hybrids between Saccharum and Erianthus have been produced, but so far there are no reports of contribution to commercial sugarcane cultivars. Despite the interest and promise of this genus in contributing to crop improvement, there appears to be very few reports to date documenting performance for yields or other traits.