Widespread Occurrence of Sugarcane Bacilliform Virus in U.S. Sugarcane Germ Plasm Collections. J. C. Comstock, USDA-ARS, Sugarcane Field Station, Canal Point, FL 33438. B. E. Lockhart, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul 55108. Plant Dis. 74:530. Accepted for publication 24 April 1990. Copyright 1990 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/PD-74-0530F.
Sugarcane bacilliform virus (SCBV), first discovered in sugarcane
clone Mex. 57-473 from Morocco (1), was detected in 48 of 51 (94%)
samples from noble sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.) clones in
the USDA germ plasm collections at Canal Point and Miami and
in samples from Florida and Texas (provided by M. Irey and J. E.
Irvine, respectively). The presence of SCBV in the sampled clones
was confirmed by electron microscopy, immunosorbent electron microscopy,
and immunodiffusion. There was no consistent association
of SCBV infection with foliar symptoms. Samples chosen at random
were iofected to the same degree as those chosen on the basis of
a total absence of foliar symptoms. SCBV is closely related serologically
to banana streak virus, a bacilliform plant virus containing a dsDNA
genome (2). SCBV was not detected in any of several sugarcane clones
currently in commercial production in Florida, but its widespread
occurrence in germ plasm material and the potential for spread into
commercial clooes warrant investigation of the possible effect of SCBV
on sugarcane yields.