Exploration of diversity and distribution of cytotypes of Saccharum spontaneum, a wild species of sugarcane, in India

Cytotype diversity of Saccharum spontaneum in India


  • V.P. Sobhakumari ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute




Saccharum spontaneum, Chromosome number, Mitosis, India, Cytogeography, Polyploidy, Cytotype diversity


The present investigation was undertaken to examine the geographic distributions of cytotypes of Saccharum spontaneum L., wild species of sugarcane, in India. New chromosome determinations has been done for 524 accessions collected mainly from four ecological zones, West, East, North and North-east, of the country. A detailed evaluation of cytogeographic pattern of S. spontaneum has been done with these clones along with the clones in which chromosome data is already available. Twenty six cytotypes ranging from 2n=40 (8x) to 2n=112 (14X) has been identified in S. spontaneum from India. Gangetic valley of Sub Himalayan region and deltaic region of South-east zone can be considered as regions of cytogeographic interest with largest concentration of different chromosome numbers. North-east region of the country appears to have had a higher evolutionary activity in this species which is evidenced by the occurrence of multiple cytotypes and sympatric growth with other species and genera.  The overall cytogeographic pattern of S. spontaneum includes the incidence of mixed polyploidy, aneuploidy, sympatric with different ploidy levels and disjunct distribution of some cytotypes indicate that this species likely to have had multiple independent origin in different parts of India.


Bremer G. 1961. Problems in the breeding and cytology of sugarcane. 11. The sugarcane breeding from a cytological view-point. Euphytica 10: 121-133.
Castro M, Castro S, Figueiredo A, Husband B, Loureiro J. 2018. Complex cytogeographical patterns reveal a dynamic tetraploid–octoploid contact zone. AoB PLANTS 10: ply012; doi: 10.1093/aobpla/ply012
Janaki Ammal EK, Singh TSN. 1936. Preliminary note on a new Saccharum x Sorghum hybrid. Indian J Agri Sci 6: 1105-1106.
Janaki Ammal EK. 1936. Cytogenetical analysis of some Saccharum spontaneum L. 1. Chromosome studies in some Indian forms. Indian J Agri Sci 6: 1-8.
Janakiammal EK. 1939. Triplopolyploidyin Saccharum spontaneum L. Curr Sci. 8:74-76.
Kandasami PA, Sreenivasan TV, Ramana Rao TC, Palanichami K, Natarajan BV., Alexander, K. C., et al. 1983. Catalogue on Sugarcane Genetic Resources I. Saccharum spontaneum L. Sugarcane Breeding Institute (ICAR), Coimbatore.
Kandasami PA. 1961a. Interspecific and intergeneric hybrids of Saccharum spontaneum L. 1. Functioning of gametes. Cytologia 26(2): 117-123.
Kandaswamy PA, Rao KKS. 1963. Artificially synthesized forms as an induction of the probable origin of certain naturally occurring forms of Saccharum spontaneum L. Indian J. Sugarcane Res. Developm. 8: 25-31.
Levin DA. 1975. Minority cytotype exclusion in local plant populations. Taxon 24: 35–43.
Mehra PN, Sood OP. 1974. Floating chromosomal populations in Saccharum spontaneum L. Cytologia. 39: 681–696.
Nair NV, Amalraj VA, Jayabose C, Sobhakmari VP, Balakrishnan R, Remadevi AK. 2013. A Catalogue On Sugarcane Genetic Resources Saccharum Spontaneum L. ISBN 978-81-926387-3-7. Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore.
Panje RR, Babu CN. 1960. Studies in Saccharum spontaneum distribution and geographical association of chromosome numbers. Cytologia 25: 152-172.
Parthasarathy N, Subba Rao KS. 1946. Chromosome survey of Saccharum spontaneum L. Indian J Genet 6 (1): 5-10.
Praneetha M, Nair NV. 2005. Cytological Studies on Saccharum spontaneum L. accessions from Kerala, India. Cytologia 70(4): 407–413, 2005.
Raghavan TS. 1953. Cytogenetics of sugarcane. In. J. Agric. Sci. 22: 93-104.
Rani S, Jeelani SM, Kumari S, Gupta RC, Chahota RK. 2015. Cytomorphology, Geographical Distribution and Ethnobotany of Genus Oxalis Linn. from Western Himalaya (India). Cytologia 80(3): 295–302.
Rejlova L. Chrtek J, Tra´vnı´ček P, Lučanova´ M, Vı´t P, Urfus T. 2019. Polyploid evolution: The ultimate way to grasp the nettle. PLoS ONE 14(7): e0218389. https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0218389.
Sobhakumari VP, Stanly MA. 2017. High ploidy diversity in Saccharum spontaneum population of North east region of India. J. Sugarcane Res. 7: 52-59.
Sobhakumari VP, Mallika S. 2007. A cytological survey of Saccharum officinarum and S. spontaneum clones. The Nucleus 50: 27-32.
Sobhakumari VP. 2009. Chromosome survey of wild and cultivated species of of Saccharum. The Nucleus 52: 17-23.
Sobhakumari VP. 2013. New dterminations of somatic chromosome number in cultivated and wild species of Saccharum. Caryologia 66: 268-274.
Sreenivasan TV, Amalraj VA , Jebadhas AW. 2001a. Catalogue on Sugarcane Genetic Resources V S.spontaneum (part-2). Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore.
Sreenivasan TV, Sreenivasan J. 1984. Cytology of Saccharum complex from New Guinea, Indonesia and India. Caryologia 37: 351-357.
Sreenivasan TV, Jagathesan D. 1973. Cytogenetic studies in interspecific hybrids of Saccharum spontaneum L. The Nucleus 16: 44-48.
Sreenivasan TV, Sreenivasan J. 1994. Chromosome numbers of Saccharum and related grasses. Sugarcane. 1: 16-22.
Sreenivasan TV. 1975. Cytogenetical studies in Saccharum spontaneum. Proc. Indian. Acad. Sci. 81: 131–144.




How to Cite

Sobhakumari, V. (2021). Exploration of diversity and distribution of cytotypes of Saccharum spontaneum, a wild species of sugarcane, in India: Cytotype diversity of Saccharum spontaneum in India. Caryologia. International Journal of Cytology, Cytosystematics and Cytogenetics. https://doi.org/10.13128/caryologia-1024