Sugarcane smut caused by Sporisorium scitamineum occurs worldwide, causing serious losses in sugar yield and quality. To study the molecular variation of S. scitamineum, 23 S. scitamineum isolates collected from the six primary sugarcane production areas in mainland China (Guangxi, Yunnan, Guangdong, Hainan, Fujian, and Jiangxi provinces) were assessed by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers. The results of RAPD, SRAP, and RAPD-SRAP combined analysis showed that, whereas the molecular variation of S. scitamineum was associated with geographic origin, there was no evidence of co-evolution between sugarcane and the pathogen. The results of RAPD, SRAP, or RAPD-SRAP combined analysis also did not provide any information about race differentiation of S. scitamineum. This suggests that the mixture of spores from sori collected from different areas should be used in artificial inoculations for resistance breeding and selection.
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