Characterisation of Erianthus sect. Ripidium and Saccharum germplasm (Andropogoneae-Saccharinae) using RFLP markers.
A collection of 65 Erianthus sect. Ripidium accessions (representing seven accepted species) and 14 Saccharum representatives (S. officinarum and S. spontaneum) were studied by RFLP analysis using 14 dispersed nuclear single-copy probes from maize. An intergeneric distance (1-F) of 0.748 was revealed between Erianthus and Saccharum. Within the Erianthus collection, the greatest distances were found between E. elephantinus or E. ravennae (the two 2n = 20 species), and the rest of the Erianthus collection. The smallest distances were found amongst the E. arundinaceus clones collected in Indonesia ((1-F)=0.005). In addition, a partition based on the geographical origin and consistent with the chromosome numbers, ie E. arundinaceus from Indonesia versus E. arundinaceus and E. procerus from India, was revealed. E. bengalense was intermediate. The study of the Saccharum individuals confirmed the greater variability of S. spontaneum compared to S. officinarum. The 2n = 80 S. spontaneum genotypes were shown to be closely related to S. officinarum. The implication of these results on the involvement of S. spontaneum and Erianthus sect. Ripidium in the origin of S. officinarum is discussed.