Grassy shoot disease - today's real threatening to sugarcane growers and sugar industry in Uttar Pradesh.
A survey of cane growing areas in eastern, central and western Uttar Pradesh during 1997-98 to 1998-99 showed that the incidence of grassy shoot disease (GSD) is becoming alarming in many promising sugarcane varieties. A maximum incidence of 35.65% was recorded in var. CoS 90265 followed by CoS 91269 (30.50%) and CoS 767 (25.8%). CoS 767 and CoS 91269 were further investigated for juice quality, yield parameter and other metabolic activities. It was noted that infected cane leaves had higher invertase [β-fructofuranosidase] activity and greater accumulation of reducing sugars. GSD infection also impaired the activities of sucrose synthetase and sucrose P-synthetase which resulted in a large reduction in the synthesis and accumulation of sucrose. A general reduction in leaf pigments, non-reducing sugars, starch cane weight and juice quality was observed in GSD-infected CoS 767 canes. However, an increase in invert sugar was noticed in infected juice samples.