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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Houma, Louisiana » Sugarcane Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #288588

Title: Current knowledge and practices related to seed transmission of sugarcane pathogens and movement of seed

item MAROON-LANGO, C - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item HOY, J - LSU Agcenter
item Comstock, Jack
item Grisham, Michael
item MOCK, R - Retired ARS Employee
item Hale, Anna
item AFGHAN, S - Shakarganj Sugar Research Institute Management House
item CROFT, B - Bses Limited
item DELA CUEVA, F - Philippine Sugar Research Institute Foundation, Inc
item HOFFMANN, H - Universidade Federal De Sao Carlos
item KENNEDY, A - West Indies Central Sugar Cane Breeding Station (WICSCBS)
item OROZCO, H - Cengicana
item SAUMTALLY, S - Mauritius Sugar Industry
item VICTORIA, J - Cengicana
item VISWANATHAN, R - Sugarcane Breeding Institute

Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2013
Publication Date: 4/20/2013
Citation: Maroon-Lango, C.J., Hoy, J.W., Comstock, J.C., Grisham, M.P., Mock, R., Hale, A.L., Afghan, S., Croft, B.J., Dela Cueva, F., Hoffmann, H., Kennedy, A., Orozco, H., Saumtally, S., Victoria, J., Viswanathan, R. 2013. Current knowledge and practices related to seed transmission of sugarcane pathogens and movement of seed. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 33:20-29.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sugarcane breeding programs benefit from sharing genetic resources. Traditionally, this has been accomplished by exchanging vegetative planting material of clones of interest. Diseases can spread during this process, and quarantines were established to enable continued sharing of germplasm while minimizing the risk of pathogen introduction. The inclusion of sensitive pathogen assays that can detect low numbers of pathogens in quarantine operations has greatly reduced this risk, but sugarcane quarantines are expensive and time consuming. The exchange of seed offers another means to obtain genes of interest. The movement of seed has been impeded because plant growth, crossing and selection are required to introgress new genes, and the threat of seed transmission of pathogens. A survey of different sugarcane industries was undertaken to determine the current practices and experience with seed movement and pathogen transmission. Some industries have decided that the potential benefits of seed exchange outweigh the risks of seed transmission of pathogens. Highly variable levels of precautions are being taken to attempt to prevent pathogen introduction. There is currently no evidence of true seed transmission of pathogens in sugarcane. Most pathogens detected have been external contaminants. Unfortunately, the morphology of sugarcane seed facilitates contamination by microorganisms. Research is in progress to attempt to expand knowledge about the potential for actual seed transmission by different viruses and bacteria.