Submitted to: University of Florida Sugarcane Disease Handout
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/8/2005
Publication Date: 11/8/2005
Citation: Comstock, J.C., Gilbert, R.A. Sugarcane yellow leaf disease. University of Florida Sugarcane Disease Handout. SS-AGR-256 P. 2-3. Interpretive Summary: The web site report gives a brief description of sugarcane yellow leaf: its symptons, yield losses, importance, distribution, spread, and control. The report provides growers with information to understand sugarcane yellow leaf, a disease that causes yield losses in Florida and Louisiana sugarcane industries.
Technical Abstract: Sugarcane yellow leaf was first recognized in Florida in 1994. Yellow leaf is caused by a virus that is transmitted in a persistent manner by aphids. The primary symptoms of yellow leaf are the yellowing of the underside of the midrib of leaves 3 to 6 counting from the top expanding spindle leaf. Symptoms are more prominent on mature sugarcane plants under stress conditions. At the end of the harvest season the leaves some affected cultivars are yellowish. There is a high incidence of sugarcane yellow leaf virus in CP cultivars in growers' fields at 85% and above. A yield of 5 to 10% has been shown in trials comparing infected verses healthy plants. The virus is not eliminated by thermal treatments used to eliminate the bacterial pathogens of ratoon stunt and leaf scald. The virus can be eliminated using a meristem tissue culture technique. Over a three year crop cycle, 20 to 30% plants will become re-infected. Until resistant cultivars can be developed the only means of control is the use of virus-free seedcane derived meristem tissue culture.