Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 18, 2004
Publication Date: June 30, 2004
Citation: White, W.H., Grisham, M.P. 2004. Rearing Procedures for the Sugarcane Aphid with Results from Antibiosis Studies and Initial Transmission Studies [abstract]. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 24:125. Technical Abstract: The sugarcane aphid, Melanaphis sacchari, was first reported in Louisiana in 1999 and is now found throughout the Louisiana sugarcane industry. Although at times, the sugarcane aphid can be found in high numbers in Louisiana sugarcane fields, its status as an economic pest of sugarcane remains unclear. The greatest threat of the sugarcane aphid to cane yields appears to be as a vector of sugarcane yellow leaf virus (SCYLV). We initiated research to develop rearing procedures to produce sugarcane aphid for use in greenhouse SCYLV transmission studies and in studies to determine levels of resistance to the aphid among varieties nearing release to growers. In our procedures, aphids are cultured on sorghum grown in 20 cm plastic pots and restricted to individual pots by cages constructed of polycarbonate plastic. Sorghum plants are required to be approximately 14 days old to support aphids and are capable of supporting an aphid colony for approximately 30 days. As plants reach a stage where they can no longer support aphids, a starter colony (2-3 infested leaves) is moved to a new and uninfected pot containing host plants to continue the aphid culture. Clip-on cages, also made of polycarbonate plastic, were designed to isolate a single aphid on a 15 cm section of a leaf of a potted sugarcane plant. These clip-on cages were used to investigate aphid reproduction among sugarcane varieties. In an evaluation containing nine of the most advanced varieties from the Louisiana Variety Development Program, we found that the variety Ho 95-988 produced significantly more aphids per female (14 nymphs; overall mean = 8 nymphs) and produced nymphs for a significantly longer period of time (8 days; overall mean = 3 days) than the other varieties tested. During our initial transmission studies we were able to successfully transmit SCYLV in the greenhouse, but have been unsuccessful in repeating transmission in subsequent studies. The reasons for subsequent failures in transmission are presently not known.