CURRENT STATUS OF SUGARCANE RATOON SfrubmNG DISEASE N ThE PHILIPPINES
CURRENT STATUS OF SUGARCANE RATOON STUNTING DISEASE N THE PHILIPPINES
Gloria C. Molina
lnstitute of Plant Breeding, University of the Philippines at Los Bafios, College, Lagmia, Philippines 4031
Background and objectives
Reports as early as 1950 indicated that ratooon stunting disease (RSD) had been detected in the Philippines. Significant losses due to this disease have been recorded since the early 1990's. The absence of a method to detect the disease is one of the main reasons that has hampered diagnosis and disease management. Preliminary result of a nationwide survey indicated the presence of RSD in the Vissyas and Mindanao regions. RSD disease is consistently detected in these regions especially in areas planted with the variety 8031, a popular high yielding variety. RSD is not yet reported elsewhere. The detection techniques used in the surveys are evaporative binding (ELTSA), and tissue dot blots.
The two techniques showed consistent results in RSD detection. Sugar growers had indicated significant loss in yield in plantations attacked by RSD. Available data indicated yield losses ranging from 25-60'/o per hectare. Losses are attributed to frequent planting. RSD infected plantations can only produce two ratoons. Contrary to reported symptoms of the disease, infected cane stalks in the regions surveyed did not show the characteristic poor growth usually exhibited by diseased plants. R and D efforts are attempting to develop management strategies to control the disease. Efforts are directed to the development of resistant varieties, use of hot water treatment, and the production of clean seed materials.