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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Effective Disease Management Through Enhancement of Resistant Sugarcane

Location: Sugarcane Research

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

item Maroon-lango, C
item Hoy, J
item Comstock, Jack
item Grisham, Michael
item Mock, R
item Hale, Anna
item Afghan, S
item Croft, B
item Dela Cueva, F
item Hoffmann, H
item Kennedy, A
item Orozco, H
item Saumtally, S
item Victoria, J
item Viswanathan, R

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.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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