Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 7, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In 1996, sugarcane plants infected with the luteovirus reported to cause yellow leaf syndrome (YLS) were discovered in Louisiana. A field experiment was established to assess the potential impact of the disease on the Louisiana sugarcane industry. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to identify virus-infected and non-infected stalks for planting the experiment. Results of the first-year, plant-can crop and the second-year, first-ratoon crop revealed no effect of virus infection on cane yield or quality of juice from cane stalks; however, higher concentrations of soluble solids, sucrose, and purity were found in juice from virus-infected green leaf tissue compared to healthy leaf tissue. Virus-infected leaves also contained elevated levels of starch. Top green leaves are normally removed from the stalk by the mechanical harvester; however, they may not be removed if the cane is lodged. Leaves delivered to the mill containing elevated levels of starch may cause problems in processing.