Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Recent advances in research on Sugarcane yellow leaf virus, the causal agent of sugarcane yellow leaf.

Abstract

Yellow leaf caused by Sugarcane yellow leaf virus (SCYLV) was the most studied disease of sugarcane during the last decade. The genome of SCYLV has been fully sequenced and characterised, and the virus was recently assigned to the genus Polerovirus of the family Luteoviridae. Molecular and immunological assays were developed to detect the virus in symptomatic and asymptomatic plants. SCYLV is spread by infected sugarcane cuttings and the aphid vectors Ceratovacuna lanigera, Melanaphis sacchari and Rhopalosiphum maidis, and the virus was successfully transmitted via these aphids from sugarcane to several species of Poaceae. Saccharum species are, however, the only known natural hosts of SCYLV. Diversity studies showed that SCYLV is a variable virus, and several genotypes of this pathogen have been described. One genotype was found in all studied geographical locations from Africa, the Americas, and Asia, whereas two other genotypes were found in only 4 of 18 locations. Variation in capacity of infection and in virulence exists between genotypes or isolates of SCYLV, and use of sugarcane resistant to infection by the virus appears the most promising means to control yellow leaf in the field.