Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 14, 2009
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Sugarcane diseases reduce yields and cause the withdrawal of cultivars from production. Three diseases, ratoon stunt, yellow leaf and smut are discussed to demonstrate methods of spread and control practices required. Ratoon stunt, caused by the bacterial pathogen, Liefsonia xyli subsp. xyli, is important is almost all sugarcane producing countries. Although resistance to ratoon stunt is possible to develop, it use needs to be expanded because it would increase the effectiveness of thermal treatment of seedcane, disease-free nurseries and phytosanitary control practices. Sugarcane yellow leaf caused by sugarcane yellow leaf virus is widespread and has been reported to cause yield losses but not always recognized and adequately controlled. Disease-free nurseries must rely on meristem tip culture to eliminate the virus from planting material used to establish plantings. Sugarcane smut is primarily controlled by planting resistant varieties. The use of resistance, meristem tissue culture and heat therapy to eliminate pathogens and disease-free nurseries can control sugarcane disease but the intergraded practices must be rigorously employed.