Woodford, Australia
Woodford, Australia

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Bhuiyan S.A.,Sugar Research Australia SRA | Croft B.J.,Sugar Research Australia SRA | Stirling G.R.,Biological Crop Protection | Wong E.,Sugar Research Australia SRA | And 2 more authors.
Australasian Plant Pathology | Year: 2016

Root lesion nematode (Pratylenchus zeae) and root knot nematode (Meloidogyne javanica) are the two most important nematode pathogens of sugarcane in Australia. They cause significant yield loss but there are no known varieties with resistance. A research project commenced in 2011 to assess the level of nematode resistance in the progenies from clones derived from crosses between sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and Erianthus spp. or Saccharum spontaneum Since standard methods of assessing nematode resistance in sugarcane clones were not available, the study aimed to develop rapid, effective and reliable methods for the screening of large numbers of clones for resistance to root lesion and root knot nematodes. A second objective was to determine the resistance of basic Saccharum spp., their wild relatives and some selected crosses to these two nematodes. Shoot and root biomass, reproduction factors (RF) and number of nematodes (or eggs) per g of roots were used to assess resistance levels. A visual rating of root galling was also used for root knot nematodes. The RF value, nematodes or eggs per g of roots, and visual rating (for root-knot nematode) were highly correlated. Resistant and susceptible clones were distinguished using any of these methods. It is concluded that the RF values can be used to detect nematode resistance in large numbers of clones. In the case of root-knot nematodes, visual gall ratings produced results that were similar to egg counts, and could be used as an alternative in future. For advanced clones, rating based on nematodes or eggs per g of root is likely to provide more accurate results. Basic S. spontaneum, E. arundinaceus clones and some progeny clones from crosses between these wild canes and commercial sugarcane clones, or from further backcrosses between these and sugarcane clones, were found to be resistant or moderately resistant to root-knot and root lesion-nematode. These clones are being further tested in the glasshouse and in the field, and should be useful sources of resistance for root-lesion and root-knot nematodes for sugarcane breeding programs. © 2016, Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc.


Bhuiyan S.A.,Sugar Research Australia SRA | Croft B.J.,Sugar Research Australia SRA | Stringer J.K.,SRA | Deomano E.C.,SRA
Plant Disease | Year: 2015

An incursion of sugarcane smut in Queensland was identified in 2006 in Bundaberg, Ingham, and Mackay. In 2008, two cultivars, ‘Q205’ and ‘Q170’, were highly susceptible in Bundaberg but remained disease free on a heavily infested farm in Mackay. A glasshouse experiment was established to determine whether the differences in disease expression were due to the sources of the two cultivars sourced from Bundaberg and Mackay in 2009. These were inoculated with the Mackay population of Sporisorium scitamineum spores. These cultivars had the same levels of disease, indicating that the variation in the clonal source of the cultivars was not responsible for the observed differences. A second glasshouse experiment in 2013 confirmed that highly susceptible Q205 and Q170 were resistant to the Mackay population of S. scitamineum but remained susceptible to the Bundaberg population. In 2010, S. scitamineum populations of smut fungi from Mackay and Bundaberg were compared in a field trial and the Mackay population had significantly less disease than the Bundaberg population on four cultivars (Q170, Q205, ‘Q174’, and ‘Q138’) but had significantly more disease in ‘Q188’. These results confirmed the field observations and suggested that there was a differential response among the cultivars for the smut fungi collected from Mackay compared with Bundaberg and are genetically different. This finding suggests that a mixture of spores should be used to inoculate sugarcane clones for resistance screening. © 2015 The American Phytopathological Society.


Bhuiyan S.A.,Sugar Research Australia SRA | Croft B.J.,Sugar Research Australia SRA | Tucker G.R.,SRA
Plant Disease | Year: 2015

Sugarcane smut, caused by Sporisorium scitamineum, is one of the most devastating diseases of sugarcane worldwide. Triazole fungicides such as propiconazole and triadimefon have been routinely used as dip treatments to protect seed-cane (stalk cuttings) from infection by sugarcane smut fungus. However, dip treatments can be applied only to mother stock (nursery) planting materials because of the logistics of dipping large quantities of seed-cane and it is difficult to dispose of the large volumes of waste fungicide solution in an environmentally safe manner. There was a need for a new fungicide that can be applied using more practical methods. The efficacy of flutriafol fungicide to control smut was evaluated in inoculated and infected stalks of a highly susceptible cultivar using various application methods. In a 2007 experiment, flutriafol fungicide was equally effective or better in controlling sugarcane smut as a dip than were two fungicides, propiconazole and triadimefon, registered in Australia. In 2009, two experiments determined the effectiveness of flutriafol when applied by mixing with fertilizer or spraying on the seed-cane at planting. All fungicide treatments significantly suppressed smut in one experiment but, in the second experiment, flutriafolfertilizer mix treatments were ineffective. In 2010, two experiments verified the efficacy and effective rates of flutriafol against sugarcane smut when applied through existing spray equipment designed to spray fungicide on cuttings as they drop into the planting furrow on a commercial planter. Area under the disease progress curve values of smut incidence were reduced significantly to 47 and 56% with low (125 g a.i. ha−1) and high (375 g a.i. ha−1) application rates, respectively, in both experimental sites compared with the inoculated control plots. Sugar yield increased by 46 to 65% in one experiment and 157 to 203% in the second experiment compared with the inoculated control. This research formulated a more practical method of application of flutriafol and suggests greater applications of this fungicide for the management of sugarcane smut. © 2015 The American Phytopathological Society.

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