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Short Communication - (2018) Volume 9, Issue 11

Record of Sugarcane Orange Rust in the Lowland Tropics of Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Coca Morante M*
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Cattle, Plant Pathology Laboratory, Department of Pyrotechnics, Greater University of San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia
*Corresponding Author: Coca Morante M, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Cattle, Plant Pathology Laboratory, Department of Pyrotechnics, Greater University of San Simón, Cochabamba, Bolivia, Tel: 59144762383 Email:


Sugarcane is an important crop in the eastern region of Bolivia. Rusts are one of the main diseases that affect this crop. At Latin American level reports are known about the emergence of the new rust known as orange rust. In July 2017, samplings of leaves with apparent symptoms of orange rust were carried out in production fields in the Saavedra and Mineros municipalities of the Santa Cruz department. After analysing in the laboratory, it was recorded that uredinias, urediospores, telias and teliospores correspond to Puccinia kuehnii E. J. Butler causal agent of sugarcane orange rust. This is the first record of the orange rust in Bolivia.

Keywords: Rusts; Biotrophic pathogen; Control and management


In Bolivia, sugarcane (Saccharum officianrum L.) is mainly cultivated in the north of the Santa Cruz Department, where some 140,000 ha are given over to this crop [1]. Although sugarcane is also grown in other departments (La Paz and Tarija), but, they are less important. Bolivian sugarcane was first reported affected by brown rust (caused by Puccinia melanocephala Syd) in 1990, with the varieties CIMCA 77- 318 and SP (Sao Paulo, Brazil) showing signs of attack in the locality of “El Meson”, 50 km north of Saavedra (Province of Obispo Santistevan) in the Santa Cruz Department [2]. It was later reported that other varieties, including IRBP 95-01, had become affected [1]. In July 2017, leaf samples were collected with typical symptoms of brown rust, and with apparent accompanying symptoms of orange rust, from sugarcane IRBP 95-04 plantations in the Mineros municipality. Similarly affected leaves of other varieties were also collected in Saavedra (Figure 1A). All samples were observed under a stereo microscope. In the IRBP 95-04 samples, disease was severe (Figure 1A). The rusts were differentiated by the form and type of the pustules they produced: the brown rust pustules elongated and brown and the potential orange rust pustules small and slightly elongated (Figure 1B). Light microscopy revealed the orange rust uredinia to be mainly hypophyllous, variable in size, linear to fusiform, yellow-orange, and erumpent (Figure 1B); no paraphyses were clearly observable (Figure 1C). The urediniospores were mostly obovoid to pyriform and echinulate, and of very variable size (length 38.1 μm, width 21.9 μm); the walls were orange to brown, uniformly thick, and with pronounced apical thickenings (Figure 1D). The telia were hypophyllous, erumpent, arising from the uredinia. The teliospores were smooth, with a hyaline pedicel (10.5 μm), clavate, two-celled, and with a slight constriction at the septum (Figure 1E). These uredinia, urediniospore and teliospores were thus morphologically similar to those described for Puccinia kuehnii E. J. Butler, the causal agent of sugarcane orange rust [3]. This fungus has been reported from two of Bolivia’s neighbours, i.e., Brazil in 2009 [4] and Argentina in 2016 [5].


Figure 1: Puccinia kuehnii. A) Sugarcane variety IRBP 95-04 severely affected by sugarcane orange rust; B) Uredinium; C) Uredinio spore (400x); D) Uredinio spores with inconspicuous paraphyses; E) Teliospore (400x).

Discussion and Conclusion

This disease was considered secondary in Australia until the end of the 1990s, when an epidemic affected the sugarcane variety Q124 which was then grown over large areas. The episode caused important economic losses for the sugar/ethanol industries of that country [6]. The possible economic impact of orange rust on sugarcane production in Bolivia remains unknown. This is the first record of P. kuehnii on sugarcane in Bolivia.


The author thanks the field technicians of the local technical institutions and the sugarcane producers of Santa Cruz for their help with the collection of samples, and Dr. M. Kakishima (Emeritus Professor, University of Tsukuba, Japan) of the China Engineering Research Center, Chinese Ministry of Education for Edible and Medical Fungi, for useful comments on morphology and identification.


Citation: Morante MC (2018) Record of Sugarcane Orange Rust in the Lowland Tropics of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. J Plant Pathol Microbiol 9: 459.

Copyright: © 2018 Morante MC. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.