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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Research Project #422807


Location: Sugarcane Field Station

2013 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Optimize assessment technologies for evaluating sugarcane disease resistance. 2. Characterize biological and molecular variation of endemic and emerging sugarcane pathogens. 3. Evaluate sugarcane and energy cane clones to identify resistant germplasm to diseases that are economically important and threatening in the varietal development programs. 4. Identify parental clones and characterize populations that will enhance the development of resistant cultivars for commercial release.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
1. For brown rust, seedlings of three crosses that vary in the proportion of brown rust susceptible progeny will be in inoculation experiments to evaluate conditions that have promoted infection using older plants. 2. Sentinel plots of susceptible cultivars that were previously rated resistant and resistant commercial cultivars will be planted with two replications in each of the ten Stage IV locations annually (the test has a three crop cycle). Spores will be collected separately from each variety of this test and inoculated to a duplicate set of standard cultivars (of all cultivars that spores were collected from plus B4362). Differences in rust reaction based on sporulation between the isolates on each cultivar will be recorded and verified by repeating the inoculation test. For orange rust, similar experiments as described above will be conducted once handling procedures are developed that eliminate problems with spore viability. For other diseases/pathogens, clones will be surveyed at two month intervals on the Sugarcane Field Station and in 6 growers’ fields for outbreaks of both exotic and endemic diseases. Once something new is suspected the pathogen (pathogenic race) will be identified and similar experiments as that described for brown rust above will be conducted. 3. Sugarcane clones in the cultivar development programs for sucrose and bio-energy will be screened for their disease reactions to the major pathogens in artificial inoculation tests and ratings will be determined based on incidence and severity of disease. 4. Sugarcane progeny of selected families, parental clones in the Canal Point (CP) Cultivar Development Program and clones in other populations will be inoculated using standard procedures and disease resistant individuals will be identified.

3. Progress Report:
Brown and orange rust screening was a top priority and the proportion of resistant clones in the later stages is increasing. The parental clones were assayed and over 1,000 clones in the World collection of sugarcane and related grasses have been assayed for Sugar Cane Yellow Leaf Virus. Crosses were made to produce true seed for evaluating whether or not Sugar Cane Yellow Leaf Virus, Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli are seed-borne.

4. Accomplishments
1. Clones in the Cultivar Development Program screened. All clones in the Cultivar Development Program Stages II, III and IV were screened for their disease reactions to Brown and orange rust, sugarcane mosaic, leaf scald and smut. Also, the presence of the Bru1 brown rust resistance gene was determined in the 1,500 clones in Stage II. The approximately 15,000 clones in Stage I were rated for their brown and orange rust reactions. All of these disease screens allowed the elimination of susceptible clones in the program.