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Crop Breeding and Applied Biotechnology

versão impressa ISSN 1518-7853versão On-line ISSN 1984-7033

Crop Breed. Appl. Biotechnol. vol.20 no.2 Viçosa  2020  Epub 17-Jul-2020 


RB036091 - an early-maturing sugarcane cultivar for the Central South of Brazil

Guilherme Souza Berton1  *

Ricardo Augusto de Oliveira1 

Edelclaiton Daros1 

José Luis Camargo Zambon1 

João Carlos Bespalhok Filho1 

Bruno Portela Brasileiro1 

Oswaldo Teruyo Ido1 

Lucimeris Ruaro1 

Heroldo Weber1 

1 Universidade Federal do Paraná, Departamento de Fitotecnia e Fitossanidade, 80.035-050, Curitiba, PR, Brazil.


Cultivar RB036091 is an early-maturing sugarcane with a long period of industrial suitability; in the Central South region of Brazil, harvest is recommended between April and August, and the cultivar is indicated for planting on moderate to highly fertile soils. It is widely adaptable and has a high sugar yield and stability of agricultural yield.

Keywords: Saccharum spp.; selection; crop breeding.


The sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) breeding program of the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) integrate of the Interuniversity Group for the Development of the Sugarcane Sector - RIDESA. This group among 10 Federal Institutions of Higher Education (UFAL, UFG, UFMT, UFPI, UFPR, UFRPE, UFRRJ, UFS, UFSCar and UFV) is focused in the creation of new cultivars (Barbosa et al. 2012, Barbosa et al. 2015, Carneiro et al. 2016, Daros et al. 2017, Daros et al. 2018, Carneiro et al. 2019 and Diniz et al. 2019). The Federal University of Paraná has become one of the main institutions of breeding research and has released six cultivars in recent years. The most important was RB966928, the second most cultivated in Brazil in the 2018/2019 growing season (Braga Junior et al. 2019). In the main cultivation regions of the country, cultivars that are high-yielding and early-maturing, tolerant to the main diseases and adapted to mechanical planting and harvesting are some of the main breeding objectives of the programs.

Cultivar RB036091 was released in 2015 after 12 years of evaluation and has gained space in the range of options of sugarcane lines for mid-season harvest in medium to high-yielding environments, in the Central South region. The cultivar was registered and protected in 2017 (registration no. 20170212) and protection entered into force as of 03/03/2017.


In May 2003, RB036091 was derived from a multiple cross with the female parent RB855589, at the hybridization field of the Federal University of Alagoas (lat 9º 18’ S, long 35º 56’ W, alt 500 m asl), in Muricí, AL (Figure 1). In August of the same year, the resulting seeds were germinated at the UFPR experimentation field, in the county of Paranavai, PR (lat 23º 02’ S, long 52º 17’ W, alt 480 m asl). In November, the seedlings were planted in the field, at two locations in northwestern Paraná, thus establishing the first selection phase (T1) with approximately 200,000 seedlings.

Figure 1 Pedigree of cultivar RB036091. 

In July 2005, the clones in the first ratoon crop stage were selected individually, representing the second selection stage (T2). Each T2 phase clone was planted in an experimental plot of approximately 15 m2, on one augmented block design. In 2008, cultivar RB036091was selected for the superior agro-industrial performance over commercial standards in three harvests.

In the third stage (T3), the clones were evaluated over two harvests at eight locations in Paraná (Table 1). Two years later, a clonal propagation phase was installed, and in 2011 the last test phase, named the experimental phase (EPh), was planted at eight locations in Paraná. In this phase, agronomic and industrial characteristics were evaluated, as well as their adaptability to and stability in the various edaphic and climatic regions in the north and northwest of Paraná. The FE phase was conducted during four agricultural seasons. In the four years of evaluation, the natural infection of the main sugarcane diseases was evaluated. During the cycle of plant cane and first ratoon, the maturation curve of RB036091 was evaluated in different environments of the state of Paraná.

Table 1 Experimental locations of the phases T3 and EPh in the state of Paraná, Brazil 

Sites Latitude (S) Longitude (W) Altitude (m)
Mandaguaçú 23º 20’ 52º 00’ 570
Bandeirantes 23º 00’ 50º 20’ 490
Paranavaí 23º 00’ 52º 17’ 480
Colorado 22º 50’ 51º 50’ 400
Goioerê 24º 08’ 53º 00’ 550
Perobal 23º 55’ 53º 22’ 400
Astorga 23º 10’ 51º 08’ 633
São Pedro do Ivaí 23º 51’ 51º 40’ 400

Before the indication of RB036091 for cultivation in Brazil, data were obtained in 54 experimental harvest, from the plant cane (24 harvests) to the third ratoon (8 harvests), which confirmed the main qualities of cultivar, especially high sucrose yield in cane plant and ratoon crops, good plant health, confirming the superior traits of cultivar RB036091.


The experimental results obtained in the mill and distillery areas, clearly showed a gain in yield of the cv. RB036091 in relation to the commercial standards cultivars RB855536 and RB867515, with an average above 100 cane yield (TCH; t ha-1) after four cuts and with a higher mean stalk and sugar yield (TPH; t ha-1) of cv. RB855536 across the harvests (Table 2).

Table 2 Average of the main agro-industrial characteristics of the cultivar RB036091, compared with the standard cultivars RB867515 and RB855536, evaluated from 2011 to 2014, in Paraná, Brazil 

Crop cycle Cultivars TCH (%)* TPH (%)* SPC% (%)* Fiber (%)*
Plant cane RB867515 100.61 a 100 13.88 a 100 13.54 a 100 12.04 a 100
RB855536 82.24 b 82 11.27 b 81 13.70 a 101 12.32 a 102
RB036091 104.15 a 104 14.35 a 103 13.78 a 102 12.81 a 106
First ratoon RB867515 100.26 b 100 13.72 b 100 13.69 a 100 11.70 a 100
RB855536 117.52 ab 117 16.52 a 120 14.06 a 103 11.07 a 95
RB036091 122.96 a 123 18.27 a 133 14.86 a 109 11.92 a 102
Second ratoon RB867515 79.23 b 100 12.30 b 100 15.53 b 100 12.44 a 100
RB855536 91.15 a 115 13.09 ab 106 14.36 a 92 12.75 a 103
RB036091 87.64 a 111 13.79 a 112 15.73 a 101 12.48 a 100
Third ratoon RB867515 71.65 c 100 10.95 b 100 15.28 a 100 13.35 a 100
RB855536 99.70 a 139 14.78 a 135 14.82 a 97 12.80 a 96
RB036091 89.02 b 124 13.77 a 126 15.47 a 101 12.95 a 97
Mean RB867515 87.94 92 12.82 92 14.51 100 12.38 100
RB855536 97.65 102 13.90 100 14.24 98 12.24 99
RB036091 100.94 106 15.10 109 14.96 103 12.54 101

€ TCH = tons of cane per hectare, TPH = tons of Pol per hectare and SPC = sucrose percentage in cane juice (apparent sucrose percentage); * Relative yield of the variable, considering cultivar RB867515 as reference. Means followed by the same letter in a column (crop cycle) are not significantly different by Tukey's test at 5% probability.

In a comparison of cultivar RB036091 with RB867515, the TCH and TPH yield increased by 14% and 17%, respectively, over four growing seasons (Table 2). When evaluating the performance of cv. RB036091 in medium to high-yielding environments, as shown by the results of the adaptability and stability method recommended by Eberhart and Russel (1966) (Figure 2), responsiveness was verified, indicating superior yield-related traits of cultivar RB036091 over RB867515, especially in medium to high-yielding environments.

Figure 2 Adaptability and stability of cultivar RB036091 and RB867515 in eight growing environments in (A) plant cane, (B) first ratoon crop and (C) second ratoon crop, in Paraná, Brazil.  

The results of cultivar RB036091 were best in medium to high agricultural fertility environments, exceeding the performance of the cultivars used as experimental standards (RB867515 and RB855536). Consequently, it is indicated for planting in the sugarcane-growing environments A, B and C (Demattê 2004).

The maturation curve is represented by sucrose accumulation in a sequence of periodic harvests, in growing environments in the Paraná and São Paulo, two of the major sugarcane-growing states in the Central South region of Brazil. Sucrose percentage in cane juice (SPC) was calculated by the methodology described by Fernandes (2003).

The maturation curve of cultivar RB036091, evaluated in various environments in the state, showed that the SPC corresponds to a medium-maturing cultivar, which is indicated for cultivation as of June, in the Central South region (Figure 3). According to the maturation curve of cultivar RB036091, compared to commercial cultivars harvested at the same growing season, the sucrose levels exceeded those of RB835054 and RB855536 between June and October, in restrictive as well as favorable environments.

Figure 3 Maturation curves of cultivar RB036091 in comparison to commercial cultivars RB835054 and RB855536, in restrictive and favorable environments in Paraná, Brazil. 

From June onwards, the SPC increased and remained high and constant until October. Consequently, this new cultivar is an excellent alternative for sugarcane cultivation for the Central South region, due to the high stalk and sugar yields during the harvest between June and September.

Cultivar RB036091 has rapid early growth, excellent sprouting and tillering capacity in cane plant and ratoon cane, excellent canopy closure and high yield stability, aside from responsiveness to environmental improvements.

In years with high flowering occurrence in the sugarcane fields, occasional flowering of cultivar RB036091 was observed, but in evaluations of stalk density and SPC, few losses, compared to other commercial cultivars used in the FEPh.

However, in the 2017/18 growing season, which was favorable for this event, no flowering of cv. RB036091 was observed, with average scores of 1/1 (Daros et al. 2019), i.e., until the evaluation month (July), rare flowering or no tiller growth was recorded. Compared with cv. RB92579, with a tiller induction of 25%, the tillers had no stalk density loss and, therefore, no stem pithiness.

Cultivar RB036091 is tolerant to the two important sugarcane disease, sugarcane smut (Sporisorium scitamineum) and orange rust (Puccinia kuehnii), and resistant to brown rust (Puccinia melanocephala).

To assess the resistance of cultivar RB036091 to brown rust, it was evaluated for the presence of the Bru1 gene, a gene resistant to this disease. The presence of the resistance gene Bru1 was detected using the molecular markers R12H16 and 9O20-F4-Rsal. The PCR reactions and amplification conditions were carried out as proposed by Costet et al. (2012). The evaluated markers confirmed the presence of gene Bru1 in RB036091.


Based on the minimum descriptors for sugarcane (SNPC/MAPA), cultivar RB036091 has a slightly decumbent (semi-erect) growth habit, is self-trashing, has medium to high tillering intensity, stalks with cylindrical internodes and a circular cross section arranged in a slight zigzag, with medium internode length and diameter, which are purple-yellow under straw and purple when exposed to sunlight, waxy. The cane top is medium length, green-purple, ovate cross-section with a weak to regular amount of wax. The shape of bud is oval, weak prominent, medium width, with a narrow bud cushion and position of the pubescence is surrounded. The leaf sheath is not hairy. The leaf blade curvature is arched, and regular to high leaf density, medium-wide limb, few hairs, intermediate light to dark green color, an ascending ligule and medium auricle, and lanceolate with unilateral distribution. The root band has medium width and salience, is purple yellow under the straw, with narrow bud insertion in relation to growth ring.


The samples of cultivar RB036091 are keepting and distributed of the Breeding Program of RIDESA at the Federal University of Paraná, 80.035-050, Curitiba, PR, Brazil.


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Received: August 16, 2019; Accepted: November 18, 2019; Published: April 15, 2020

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