Genome size variation in three Saccharum species

Jisen Zhang, Chifumi Nagai, Qingyi Yu, Yong Bao Pan, Tomas Ayala-Silva, Raymond J. Schnell, Jack C. Comstock, Aru K. Arumuganathan, Ray Ming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Saccharum species are autopolyploids with ploidy level ranging from 5× to 16x, and are considered the most complex genomes among crop plants. In present study, the genome sizes of 28 Saccharum spontaneum accessions, 15 Saccharum officinarum accessions, 28 Saccharum robustum accessions, and 12 Saccharum hybrids spp. were analyzed using flow cytometry. The estimated genome sizes of S. officinarum accessions ranged from 7. 50 to 8. 55 Gb with an average size of 7. 88 Gb. In S. robustum, the estimated genome sizes ranged from 7. 65 to 11. 78, reflecting the variation of ploidy level. In S. spontaneum, the estimated genome sizes varied widely, with a range from 3. 36 to 12. 64 Gb, also due to variation of ploidy level. The average monoploid genome size of S. officinarum was 985 Mb, and that of S. spontaneum was 843 Mb. The results also showed that genome sizes were correlated with chromosome numbers, and based which, that the unknown chromosome numbers of some accessions could be predicted. The estimated genome sizes of Saccharum germplasm also helped identify some mislabeled accessions and yielded information critical for sugarcane breeding and genome sequencing programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)511-519
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • DNA content
  • Flow cytometry
  • Genome size
  • Saccharum species
  • Sugarcane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


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