A striking characteristic of modern sugarcane is that all sugarcane cultivars (Saccharum spp) share a common cytoplasm from S. officinarum. To explore the potential value of S. spontaneum cytoplasm, new Saccharum hybrids with an S. spontaneum cytoplasm were developed at the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Sugarcane Research Laboratory, through a combination of conventional and molecular breeding approaches.
Brown rust (causal agent Puccinia melanocephala) is an important sugarcane disease that is responsible for large losses in yield worldwide. Despite its importance, little is known regarding the genetic diversity of this pathogen in the main Brazilian sugarcane cultivation areas. In this study, we characterized the genetic diversity of 34 P. melanocephala isolates from 4 Brazilian states using loci identified from an enriched simple sequence repeat (SSR) library.