Submitted to: American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 7, 2009
Publication Date: August 1, 2009
Citation: Grisham, M.P., Eggleston, G., Hoy, J.W., Viator, R.P. 2009. Potential effect of sugarcane yellow leaf virus infection on yield of leading sugarcane cultivars in Louisiana. Journal of the American Society of Sugar Cane Technologists. 29:83. Available: http:www.assct.org/journal/journal.htm. Technical Abstract: Field experiments were conducted to determine the potential effect of Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (ScYLV) infection on cane and sucrose yield of four sugarcane cultivars (LCP 85-384, Ho 95-988, HoCP 96-540 and L 97-128) that occupied a combined total of 93% of the sugarcane production area in Louisiana in 2007. Although natural infection has been found to occur in commercial fields of each of these cultivars; visual symptoms of sugarcane yellow leaf disease caused by ScYLV have been rarely observed. Similarly, visual symptoms of sugarcane yellow leaf disease were not observed among the ScYLV-infected experimental plants in this study. Seed cane for the field experiments was obtained from stools (plants with multiple stalks) of each cultivar that were analyzed by leaf print immunoassay for natural infection by the ScYLV. Experimental plots were planted with stalks from stools that tested either positive or negative for ScYLV infection. Three, annual crops (plant-cane, first-ratoon, and second-ratoon) were harvested utilizing a single-row, chopper harvester (Cameco CH3500, John Deere, Thibodaux, LA) and the total weight of harvested cane in each plot was determined using a single-axle high dump billet wagon containing three electronic load sensors (John Deere, Thibodaux, LA). Three sub-samples of the billeted cane were collected from each plot as it was harvested for juice and fiber analysis by the pre-breaker, core press method. Cane yield (Mg ha-1) was reduced in ScYLV-infected plants of LCP 85-384 across the crop cycle (plant-cane, first-ratoon, and second-ratoon crops); however, sucrose yield (kg ha-1) was not reduced because of an increase in the percent sucrose content of infected plants. Cane and sucrose yields were reduced in ScYLV-infected plants of cultivars HoCP 96-540 by approximately10 and 11 percent, respectively, and in L 97-128 by approximately 9 and 12 percent, respectively, across the crop cycle. The only observed effect of ScYLV-infection in cultivar Ho 95-988 was an increase in percent sucrose content of the cane. The results of this study indicate that ScYLV-infection can cause loss of cane and sucrose yields in LCP 85-384, HoCP 96-540, and L 97-128 even when visual symptoms are not present. In this study, Ho 95-988 appears to be tolerant to ScYLV infection. To minimize the potential for yield loss from ScYLV infection, growers should plant seed cane free of the virus infection.