Location: Sugarcane Research Unit
Title: Breeding for stem borer resistance in sugarcane Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Stem borers are arguably the most important group of insect pests of sugarcane. Stem borers primarily belong to the insect order Lepidoptera, although a few species belong to the order Coleoptera. The larvae of these insects bore into the sugarcane stalk and heavy infestations can cause severe losses in yield, both in sucrose and in tonnage (biomass). Integrated pest management of these pests is widely practiced around the world and employs a combination of control tactics including biological control, host plant resistance, insecticides, and cultural controls. Of these tactics, biological control is the most widely practiced along with insecticides, but plant resistance is also important. Host plant resistance has played a particularly prominent role in control of the sugarcane borer in Louisiana. Research has shown that planting borer resistant varieties can reduce insecticide treatments by 25%. Unfortunately for growers, sugarcane borer resistance is not a breeding objective. Therefore, the release of borer resistant varieties is left up to chance and their release to growers is sporadic. At this grower meeting, I will discuss what we have learned from several years of research in breeding for stem borer resistance and how developing borer resistant varieties can be obtained should farmers demand this trait in their sugarcane varieties.