Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (SCYLV) was first detected in sugarcane of Réunion Island in 1997. A field experiment was undertaken to assess the potential impact of this virus on sugarcane production. The agronomic characteristics of SCYLV-infected plants were compared to those of virus-free plants of three sugarcane cultivars (R570, R577 and R579) which occupy more than 90% of the cultivated sugarcane area on Réunion Island. In the plant crop, significant losses in stalk weight (28%) and in sugar content (11%) were detected for cultivar R577, but not for either of the two other cultivars. In the first ratoon crop, yield reduction was detected for cultivar R577 (37%), but also for cultivar R579 (19%). Cultivar R577 also showed significant losses in sugar content (12%) due to reduced amount and quality of extracted cane juice. No yield reduction was found for cultivar R570, although stalk height and diameter were reduced in SCYLV-infected canes of this cultivar in the first ratoon crop. Leaf yellowing was observed at harvest of plant and ratoon crops when sugarcane was no longer irrigated, and 10-59% of symptomatic stalks could be attributed to the presence of SCYLV. The most severe yellowing symptoms were related to infection of sugarcane by the virus.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was conducted during the thesis scholarship programme of L. Rassaby, supported by the Région Réunion. We thank the Centre d’Essai, de Recherche et de Formation (CERF) for supplying the planting material and for sugar content analyses.
- Yellow leaf syndrome