- Sugarcane

Sugarcane Sugarcane

Bacterial Leaf Blight of Sugarcane


Acidovorax avenae

In a Nutshell

  • Watery-green stripes along midrib and base of leaf.
  • Reddish stripes spread across the whole leaf.
  • Wilting and rotting of leaves.
  • Reduced root system.
  • Stunted growth.
 - Sugarcane

Sugarcane Sugarcane


The disease occurs mostly on young and middle-aged leaves. Long, narrow, uniform and watery-green stripes occur first near the midrib and the base of leaf blades. At later stages of the disease, stripes spread across the whole leaf, coalesce and become first light- and then dark-red in colour (necrotic). Leaves wilt, rot and emit a strong, unpleasant odour. As the rotting progresses into the stem, large cavities form within the internodes. At later stages of the disease, tops and inflorescences frequently break off and fall to the ground, this symptom is called top rot.

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The bacteria prefers high humidity and high temperatures. The primary transmission takes place through soil and diseased setts, while the secondary transmission happens through air, rain splash and soil

Organic Control

Unfortunately, no effective biological control methods are available at this time.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. To avoid primary infection treatment of the seeds with the appropriate fungicide for 15 to 20 minutes could be conducted.

Preventive Measures

  • Grow resistant varieties.
  • Collect healthy planting material from the seed nursery.
  • Implement wide crop rotation with green manure crops.
  • Improve your drainage system to reduce the incidence of the disease.
  • Fertilize moderately with nitrogen.

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