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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Canal Point, Florida » Sugarcane Field Station » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #353203

Research Project: Identification of Resistant Germplasm and Markers Associated with Resistance to Major Diseases of Sugarcane

Location: Sugarcane Field Station

Title: Controlling sugarcane diseases in Florida: a challenge in constant evolution

Author
item Rott, Philippe - University Of Florida
item Kaye, Claudia - Us Sugar Corporation
item Naranjo, Moramay - Florida Crystals Corporation
item Shine, James - Florida Sugarcane League
item Sood, Sushma
item Comstock, Jack - Former ARS Employee
item Raid, Richard - University Of Florida

Submitted to: International Sugar Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2017
Publication Date: 2/7/2018
Citation: Rott, P., Kaye, C., Naranjo, M., Shine, J., Sood, S.G., Comstock, J.C., Raid, R. 2018. Controlling sugarcane diseases in Florida: a challenge in constant evolution. International Sugar Journal. 2:274-279.

Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane diseases cause significant yield losses. More than 40 diseases have been recorded in Florida, with brown rust, orange rust and yellow leaf currently are major concerns on sugarcane production. Several cultivars that were initially resistant to orange rust became susceptible when grown over large areas, suggesting a change in the rust pathogen populations. At the present time, control of the two rust diseases relies mainly on use of fungicides. Most cultivars are also susceptible to yellow leaf and it has been shown that this disease can reduce yields even in absence of disease symptoms. Use of healthy seed cane is only partially successful and a new potential vector of the yellow leaf pathogen may create the difficulty in controlling the yellow leaf disease in Florida. The development of new cultivars with sustainable resistance is critical for successful control of sugarcane diseases in Florida.

Technical Abstract: Diseases are limiting factors for the sugarcane crop in almost any sugarcane growing location. More than 40 diseases have been recorded in Florida, with brown rust, orange rust and yellow leaf currently impacting on sugarcane production. Ideally, these diseases should be controlled using resistant cultivars, but most cultivars grown in 2015-2016 in Florida are susceptible to either brown rust or orange rust. Several cultivars that were initially resistant to orange rust became susceptible when grown over large areas, suggesting a change in the rust pathogen populations. At the present time, control of the two rust diseases relies mainly on use of fungicides. Most cultivars are also susceptible to infection by Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (SCYLV) and it has been shown that this virus can reduce yields even in absence of disease symptoms. Use of healthy seed cane is only partially successful and the recently discovered new host and potential vector of SCYLV may explain the difficulty in controlling this virus in Florida. Identification of sustainable resistance sources and transfer of these resistances to new cultivars are critical for successful control of sugarcane diseases in Florida.