Author Topic: Miscanes (Saccharum x Miscanthus hybrids)  (Read 297 times)

Johann Kuntz

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Miscanes (Saccharum x Miscanthus hybrids)
« on: 2021-12-27, 01:55:42 PM »
Does anyone here have any first hand experience with miscanes (Saccharum x Miscanthus hybrids)?  Despite being two different genera, these two are interfertile with the Miscanthus parent being very cold hardy which apparently is often passed along to some extent in the offspring.

The USDA has quite a collection of Saccharum hybrids, but only four of the currently available accessions were listed as being hybrids with Miscanthus.  Of those four, only one had any documentation of brix measurement which was a value of 18.4 for accession #MIA 36952. 

It seems that the primary reason breeding work had been done originally was to impart disease resistance from other species into sugar cane, but increased cold tolerance including photosynthesis at cooler temperatures appears to have been a side affect.  I read that some of these hybrids have been noted as surviving in Booneville, Arkansas which is listed as USDA climate zone 7b.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333616464_Saccharum_Miscanthus_intergeneric_hybrids_miscanes_exhibit_greater_chilling_tolerance_of_C4_photosynthesis_and_postchilling_recovery_than_sugarcane_Saccharum_spp_hybrids

https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/234221


Johann Kuntz

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Re: Miscanes (Saccharum x Miscanthus hybrids)
« Reply #1 on: 2022-04-14, 07:35:17 PM »
The miscane cuttings arrived today.  They look even more like sugar cane than I had anticipated.  Very thick stems.

I've started a blog post https://johannsgarden.blogspot.com/2022/04/miscanes-hardy-hybrid-sugar-cane.html (which I will edit with updates as needed) to track my observations of these.  After looking into the genetics more I suspect these will all be sterile because of wildly differing chromosome counts between the two parent species (unless the resulting miscanes had their chromosomes doubled, but I have not encountered any info that would indicate that to be the case).  Further breeding work might be a dead end, but it appears there's room to undertake quite a bit of evaluation on what the hybrids already produced.  These have been around for decades, but despite that very little info exists about their performance and utility.