Solving YCS : final report 2014/049
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Yellow canopy syndrome (YCS) is a sporadic condition presenting as golden-yellowing of the mid canopy in sugarcane during the peak growing period of December to March. The key driver of YCS is growth rate and symptoms usually exhibit after rainfall. YCS can be induced or mitigated by altering sink strength and sugarcane can recover from a YCS event. Abiotic or biotic stress has a serious effect on the photosystems and the physiological fitness of the crop. There is a strong correlation between YCS expression, leaf sucrose and sink strength, independent of crop age. YCS symptomatic leaves always have high leaf sucrose and ?-glucan content. Under experimental conditions the pyrethroid bifenthrin supresses insect stress, promotes increased sink growth and maintains low leaf sucrose and ?-glucan levels. Induced senescence causes YCS plants to have a lower number of attached leaves. Yield loss precedes YCS expression and there is no correlation between YCS severity and cane yield or CCS. Lamina starch staining is a useful tool to assist in YCS identification. There is no strong evidence of genetic predisposition for YCS susceptibility. Industry-wide incidence and severity of YCS is too difficult to accurately assess due to its episodic nature, no single causal agent and the link to climate change and severe weather events. The data does not support the cause of YCS being a pathogen, specific insect or mite, soil borne agent, poor root health, nutrient deficiency, or heavy metal toxicity. YCS is a physiological disorder visualised as the terminal expression of metabolic perturbances caused by growth disruption.