European Journal of Plant Pathology (2011) 129, 379-388

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Ewald Komor (2011)
Susceptibility of sugarcane, plantation weeds and grain cereals to infection by Sugarcane yellow leaf virus and selection by sugarcane breeding in Hawaii
European Journal of Plant Pathology 129 (3), 379-388
Abstract: Hawaiian commercial sugarcane cultivars (Saccharum spp.), noble canes (S. officinarum), robust canes (S. robustum) and wild relatives of sugarcane (S. spontaneum and Erianthus arundinaceus) were tested by tissue blot immunoassay to determine whether they were infected by Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (SCYLV). Two-thirds of the commercial hybrids and noble canes were infected and therefore classified as SCYLV-susceptible, in contrast to the wild cane relatives where less than one third of the varieties were infected. The pedigree list of commercial, registered cultivars showed that 80% of cultivars were SCYLV-susceptible and that also 75-90% of the progeny of resistant (female) parents were susceptible (male parents are mostly unknown because of polycross breeding). In contrast, a cross between a resistant S. robustum and a susceptible S. officinarum cultivar yielded 85% resistant progeny clones, which indicated that SCYLV-resistance is a dominant trait. It is concluded that the breeding program selected against SCYLV-resistance with the result that 80% of the newly bred cultivars were susceptible. Exceptional was the period between 1950 and 1970, in which 50% of the newly-bred clones were resistant. This is the period in which SCYLV had entered Hawaii. Weed grasses and cereal grasses which grew in or next to sugarcane fields were not infected by SCYLV. Thus SCYLV does not spread from infected sugarcane plants to adjacent grasses or cereals under field conditions, although cereal grasses can be infected experimentally.
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Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
environment - cropping system/rotation
resistance/tolerance/defence of host


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Sugarcane yellow leaf virus Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) U.S.A. (Hawaii)