- Sugarcane

Sugarcane Sugarcane

Wilt Disease of Sugarcane

Fungus

Gibberella fujikuroi


In a Nutshell

  • Pale plant discoloration.
  • Stunted growth.
  • Dark red to purples nodes.
  • Hollow and dry cane stalks.

Symptoms

The disease manifests itself mostly after the end of the growth phase. The leaves turn yellowish-green, lose firmness and eventually dry, starting from the base. The crowns turn white or show a yellowish midrib surrounded by a pale green blade. The affected canes are stunted, lighter in weight, and with hollow internodes but unaffected nodes and buds. Longitudinal cuts show dark red to purple internal tissue extending just above the growth ring in the nodes. In severe cases, yield is greatly reduced.

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Hosts

Trigger

The plants show symptoms after or during the monsoon time. Fungi enter mainly through injuries by other pests such as root borer, termite, scales, mealybugs etc. Biotic stresses like drought and water logging predispose the plants for wilt infection. Moisture stress coupled with high temperature and low humidity reduces plant resistance to wilt.

Organic Control

Treat the seeds with moist hot air at 54°C for 150 minutes. Then dip the seeds in 0.1% bleach solution for ten to 15 minutes. Please take hygienic care and wear gloves as well as protective goggles. Do not use the vessel for household purposes afterwards.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. No chemical treatment is effective against wilt disease in sugarcane.

Preventive Measures

  • Make sure to get seeds or transplants from certified sources.
  • Crop rotation with non-host plants is recommended.
  • Avoid excess of fertilizers in field, especially nitrogen.
  • Avoid injuries on plants while working.
  • Provide good drainage to fields and avoid over-watering.
  • Dispose of old plant debris after harvest.

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