Submitted to: Sugar Cane International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/3/2009
Publication Date: 6/1/2009
Citation: Grisham, M.P., Eggleston, G., Hoy, J.W., Viator, R.P. 2009. The effect of sugarcane yellow leaf virus infection on yield of sugarcane in Louisiana. Sugar Cane International. 27(3):92-95.
Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (SCYLV) causes yellow leaf disease of sugarcane. In Louisiana, the obvious symptoms of yellow leaf are rarely observed because during the later part of the growing season when the symptoms would typically be produced, they are masked by the effects of the effects of chemical ripeners and frosts and freezes. The purpose of this study was to compare the cane and sugar yields of SCYLV-infected plants to control plants of four cultivars (LCP 85-384, Ho 95-988, HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128) that currently occupy over 90% of the sugarcane production area in Louisiana. In a series of experiments conducted between 2000 and 2007, cane and sucrose yields of SCYLV-infected plants were reduced in LCP 85-384, HoCP 96-540, and L 97-128, while no yield reduction was observed in Ho 95-988. No visual symptoms of yellow leaf were observed among the plants of these experiments. The results of this study indicate that SCYLV-infection can result in loss of cane and sugar yields among these important cultivars even when disease symptoms are not produced. However, the impact of the disease is less than that reported in other states and countries. To minimize the potential for yield loss from SCYLV infection, growers should plant seed cane free of the virus infection.
Technical Abstract: A series of field experiment were conducted to determine the effect of SCYLV infection on cane and sugar yield of four commercial sugarcane cultivars (LCP 85-384, Ho 95-988, HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128) that occupied 93% of the sugarcane production area in Louisiana in 2006. The experiments were harvested green with a chopper harvester and billet samples were collected for juice and cane analysis by the pre-breaker, core press method. The effect of SCYLV infection on cane and sugar yield varied among cultivars and among crop years within cultivars; however, the results of this study indicated that SCYLV-infection can result in loss of cane and sugar yields. Cane and sugar yields did not differ between control and SCYLV-infected plants in plant-cane or first-ratoon crops of cultivar LCP 85-384. In the second-ratoon crop of LCP 85-384, sugar and cane yields were reduced in the SCYLV-infected plots. When the experiment was repeated, cane yield was reduced in SCYLV-infected plants across the crop cycle (plant-cane, first-ratoon, and second-ratoon crops); however, sugar yield was not reduced because of an increase in the sugar content of infected plants. Cultivar Ho 95-988 appears to be the most tolerant to SCYLV infection among the cultivars in this study. The only observed effect of SCYLV-infection in cultivar Ho 95-988 was an increase in sugar content of the cane. Cane and sugar yields were reduced in the plant-cane crop of cultivars HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128. Currently, all sugarcane cultivars recommended for planting in Louisiana are susceptible to SCYLV infection. To minimize the potential for yield loss from SCYLV infection, growers should plant seed cane free of the virus infection.