The sugarcane stalk borer Eldana saccharina is the most injurious pest in the Zimbabwe sugar industry. With its increasing establishment and population build-up in the fields it was found necessary to conduct investigations into assessing current damage patterns and possible host plant mechanisms to add on to current management practices. The study was therefore aimed at variation in damage among sugarcane varieties and investigating morphological and biochemical traits associated with damage at the Zimbabwe Sugar Association Experiment Station. Rind total phenolics, condensed tannins, cane juice quality, root primordia diameter, primordia counts and pith expression were investigated for their association to damage. Damage was found to be highest in varieties ZN1L, ZN4 and ZN2E while varieties CP72-2086 and N14 had the least damage. Percentage Tunnel length bored ranged between 1.9-19.6%, % Stalk length red 4.6-33.4 % and % Internodes bored between 6.9-32.2%. Of all the stalk characteristics assessed only cane juice purity was found to have a significant negative association with all damage parameters. ERC % cane was found to be associated only with % Internodes bored (r=-0.571, p<0.01) and not with % Stalk length red and % Tunnel length bored. Morphological traits assessed in this study also did not have a significant association with damage
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