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Disease Note.

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.

References: (1) B. E. L Lockhart and L. J. C. Autrey. Plant Dis. 72:230. 1988. (2) B. E. L Lockhart et al. Phytopatho1ogy 78:1559, 1988.