USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Field Station, Canal Point, FL 33438
Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Texas A&M Agricultural Experiment Station, Weslaco 78596
In May 1996, an outbreak of sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) was detected in Florida affecting a major commercial sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid) cultivar, CP 72-2086. Identification of SCMV was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with SCMV antiserum (ATCC no. PVAS 115), and by reverse transcription(RT)-PCR (1,2). The strain of SCMV was identified as E with an RT-PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (1). Although SCMV strain E has been detected in Florida for many decades, it had been confined primarily to S. officinarum clones, to occasional susceptible sugarcane clones in breeding programs, and to various grasses throughout the sugarcane production area. CP 72-2086 plus seven other sugarcane cultivars and 10 sorghum cultivars reacted similarly to inoculation with the isolate of SCMV found recently on CP 72-2086 and an isolate of SCMV collected in 1986. CP 72-2086 was released in 1982 and currently is the second most widely grown cultivar, constituting 18.0% of the commercial sugarcane area in Florida. At the epicenter of infection, located 11 km southeast of Canal Point, over 50% of CP 72-2086 plants had SCMV symptoms. The incidence of mosaic decreased rapidly away from the epicenter. No SCMV was observed in the western area of the sugarcane production area, west of South Bay, FL.
References: (1) T. E. Mirkov and J. E. Irvine. Sugar y Azucar 9:23, 1996. (2) G. R. Smith et al. Plant Dis. 78:557, 1994.