Yield Loss in Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) Due to Smut Disease in Some Selected Genotypes under Sudan Conditions

This research was carried out at the Sugarcane Research Centre in Guneid (Latitude 15° N, Longitude 33° E) during the 2008/2009 cropping season. Sugarcane currently contributes significantly to Sudan’s national economy. The goal was to estimate the amount of sugarcane losses (field and factory) caused by the effects of smut disease caused by Ustilago scitaminea (Syd.). Replicated cane stalk samples were taken from some selected sugarcane genotypes from each of three cane categories: whip-bearing canes from diseased stools (WBC-DS), seemingly healthy looking canes from diseased stools (AHC-DS), and healthy canes from healthy stools (HC-HS). When compared to healthy canes, Brix, sucrose content (pol percent), estimated recoverable sugar (ERS), and stalk weight all showed significant reductions of 5%, 4%, 5%, and 40%, respectively. The fibre content of whip bearing cane stalks was 7% higher than that of HC-HS and AHC-DS, which are harmful and cause ERS losses. However, moisture content and purity were found to be unaffected by the disease. According to this report, Smut disease causes losses in most cane yield parameters in both the field and the factory. As a result, cane growers must better control this disease, with the most practical method being the propagation and use of disease-resistant/tolerant sugarcane genotypes, supplemented by crop sanitation to keep inocuities at bay.

Author(s) Details

Dr. P. W. Marchelo-d’Ragga
Department of Agricultural Sciences, School of Natural Recourses and Environmental Studies, University of Juba, P.O.Box 82 Juba, Republic of South Sudan.

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