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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF SUGARCANE DISEASES BY SCREENING FOR RESISTANT GERMPLASM
2011 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Screen sugarcane clones in the breeding pipeline and germplasm for resistance to ratoon stunt, leaf scald, mosaic, smut, eye spot and yellow leaf using proven techniques. 2. Improve assessment of brown rust resistance. a. Characterize pathogenic variation of brown rust in Florida. b. Evaluate seedlings screening methodology to identify rust resistant families. c. Determine the rust reaction of clones using improved natural infection and artificial inoculation methodologies. 3. Develop and associate molecular markers with disease resistance genes for use in marker-assisted selection.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
1. Sugarcane clones in the cultivar development program will be screened for their disease reaction to the major diseases (ratoon stunt, leaf scald, mosaic, smut and eye spot) using established artificial inoculation tests. 2. a. Pathogenic variation to rust will be determined by inoculating cultivars that have known reactions with rust collected in locations in Florida to determine differences in reaction patterns. b. Sugarcane seedlings inoculation procedures will be evaluated using various rust spore concentrations and rating the reaction of individuals. c. The rust reaction of clones will be evaluated based on natural infection by produced by rust infected susceptible plants grown adjacent to them and also by artificially inoculating the plants either by whorl or spray inoculations. 3. Previously selected polymorphic SSR’s, developed RGA primers and AFLPs will be used to identify markers by bulk segregation analysis that are associated to brown rust, yellow leaf and ratoon stunt resistance using characterized populations of sugarcane.


3.Progress Report
The detection of sugarcane orange rust in Florida impacted the pathology program. Suspected sugarcane rust samples of leaves from foreign sources are being examined in the Systematic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory in Beltsville to identify the pathogen. Molecular comparisons of the samples from foreign countries are being made with Florida and other Central American Countries to determine differences.

Evaluated eight promising energy cane clones for their leaf scald, mosaic and smut reactions prior to their consideration for possible release.


4.Accomplishments
1. Identification of disease resistant cultivars of sugarcane. Disease susceptible cultivars must be identified to prevent yield losses in the sugarcane industry. Sugarcane clones in Stage II (1500), Stage III (135)and Stage IV (18) in the variety development program were screened for their disease reaction and susceptible clones were discarded. Resistant cultivars will allow Florida sugarcane growers to continue to produce approximately 20% of the sugar consumed in the United States. Resistant sugarcane cultivars will provide growers with an effective means of controlling diseases.

2. Selection of rust resistant sugarcane clones. The brown and orange rust reaction of clones in the sugarcane cultivar development program were determined using an artificial whorl inoculation and natural infection. With the introduction of orange determining the rust reaction of clones for resistance to both brown and orange rust pathogens is required to develop adequate resistance. Rust resistant sugarcane cultivars will provide sugarcane growers with an effective means of controlling this emerging disease.


Review Publications
Saumtally, S.A., Viremouneix, T.R., Ahondokpê, B., Girard, J.R., Castlebury, L.A., Dixon, L., Glynn, N.C., and Comstock, J.C. First Report of Orange Rust of Sugarcane Caused by Puccinia kuehnii in Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Plant Dis. 95:357. 2011.

Comstock, J.C., Glynn, N.C., Davidson, W. 2010. Sugarcane Rusts in Florida. Proc. Int. Soc. of Sugar Cane Technol. 27:1-9

Last Modified: 11/24/2014
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