Four experiments were conducted at El-Sabahia (31°, 12N latitude), Alexandria, Egypt Sugar Cane Research Station to estimate the variability, heritability and flowering ability of eighty eight sugar cane germplasm. All experiments were planted in mid-March 2013 and their design was randomized complete block with three replicates. Variability in important traits among tested germplasm was estimated using genotypic and phenotypic variance in addition to genotypic and phenotypic coefficients and broad sense heritability. Flowering ability was determined using the number and percentage variation of flowering germplasm and flowering dates. The results showed that the magnitude of genotypic and environmental variance was the highest in number of millable cane character and the minimum value was found in stalk diameter in plant crop and both ratoon crops. Maximum genotypic and phenotypic coefficients of variation were exhibited by number of millable cane, single stalk weight, sugar yield and cane yield in plant and both ratoon crops. Among quality characters lowest values for both coefficients were obtained by purity percent in plant and both ratoon crops. In the present experiment, moderate to high heritability estimates were observed for all characters. The results indicated that the selection is more effective in plant and both ratoon crops based on yield contributing characters having high PCV, GCV and heritability along with suitable mean value. The flowering occurred in most of studied germplasm under natural environment in El-Sabahia area but the percentage of flowered germplasm differed among studied seasons. The flowering in sugarcane germplasm commenced from November and ended up to June. Most of the germplasm flowered during December at the three seasons and followed by February at plant crop, January and February at first ratoon crop and January and March at second ratoon crop. The tested germplasm were divided into 8 groups according to their flower ability.
Keywords: sugarcane- germplasm- variability- heritability- flowering.