The research was carried out at the Bangladesh Sugarcrop Research Institute (BSRI) to evaluate the feasibility of incorporating five exotic non-flowering sugarcane genotypes into a traditional breeding programme through somaclonal variations. To generate genetic diversity, explants from the leaf sheath of donor plant were grown on modified MS media supplemented with 3.5 mgl-1 2,4-D. Callus formation occurred within six to twelve days of cultivation. For shoot regeneration, MS medium supplemented with 1.0 mgl-1 BA + 0.5 mgl-1 NAA was utilized, while 5.0 mgl-1 NAA was used for roots from micro shoots. 834 somaclones were acclimatised and planted in the field for evaluation, where 520 somaclones survived in the G0 generation. On the basis of three years of field study under three generations, three somaclones were chosen for their profuse flowering and better agronomic traits. The somaclones were found to be significantly different from the mother plants.
Key words: Sugarcane, non-flowering, somaclonal variation.