Location: Sugarcane ResearchTitle: Economically important sugarcane diseases in Louisiana Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Major diseases with potential to cause economic losses in the Louisiana sugarcane industry include ratoon stunt and leaf scald caused by bacterial pathogens, mosaic and yellow leaf caused by virus pathogens, and brown and orange rusts and smut caused by fungal pathogens. The most efficient method of managing disease in sugarcane is the use of resistant varieties. Ratoon stunt is effectively controlled in Louisiana with cultural practices that include the use of pathogen-free seed cane and sanitation of harvesting and planting equipment that can be responsible for mechanical transfer of the bacterial pathogen to healthy plants. Consequently, development of varieties with ratoon stunt resistance is not a primary selection criterion. Clones in the early stages of the USDA sugarcane breeding program in Louisiana are visually observed for the development of mosaic, leaf scald, smut, and brown and orange rust resulting from field spread. Clones assigned permanent variety names, approximately midway through the breeding program, are artificially inoculated with the pathogens that cause leaf scald and smut. As a result of the observations and inoculation trials, released and near-release varieties are resistant or moderately resistant to the economically important diseases affecting sugarcane in Louisiana. After release, some varieties may become susceptible to a disease when a different race or strain develops in a pathogen population. One example is the breakdown of resistance to brown rust.