Saccharum germplasm collection in the Andaman-Nicobar Islands, India.
The Andaman-Nicobar group of islands in the Bay of Bengal was surveyed during March 2003 for Saccharum germplasm. In the South Andaman Island, only cultivated forms of Saccharum (S. officinarum L.) were present, which are possible introductions from mainland India. Erianthus arundinaceus was present in the Middle Andaman, but the distribution was sparse and localized. Though there are earlier reports of S. spontaneum from the Car-Nicobar Island, it was only found at a single location near Kakana. E. arundinaceus was present in Katchal Island, growing among dense forest vegetation. Though there are vast grasslands in Camorta, S. spontaneum or other related grasses were not found. In general, the distribution of Saccharum and related grasses in the islands was poor. Eight accessions (four E. arundinaceus; one each of S. spontaneum and S. officinarum; and two Imperata cylindrica) were collected during the exploration. They represent new geographical variability, hitherto not represented in the Saccharum germplasm collections.