Sugarcane Mosaic Virus
Young plants show the most visible symptoms. Infected plants develop a distinct mosaic pattern of light green to yellow patches embedded on the normal green colour. Sometimes the mosaic appearance is enhanced by narrow chlorotic or necrotic streaks extending parallel to the veins. In some cases, stripes can also be observed in the young stalks. Later on, the leaves show a general chlorosis, and the streaks become larger and more abundant. As plants approach maturity, partial reddening or necrosis occur along the leaf blade. Depending on time of infection, plants may be severely stunted or be completely barren.
Aphids transmit the virus through feeding and can infect healthy plants over a couple of days. Mechanical transmission from plant to plant is also possible, the virus can be introduced to the leaves via injuries. Mechanical transmission via knives or other tools is not possible because the virus does not survive long outside of plant tissues.
Control potential hosts such as weeds for the virus, in the field and surrounding areas. Monitor and control aphid populations as they infect healthy plants with this virus.
Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. Do not apply insecticides to control the aphid population because this has been shown to be ineffective.