- Worldwide distribution. In Oceania, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, and viruses recorded in quarantine from American Samoa and Samoa. Known from pineapple and false pineapple (Pseudananus).
- Damage: reddening (later pink), downward curling and tip dieback of leaves, and root collapse. Symptoms in young plants after 2-3 months; older plants after a year.
- Spread: Pineapple mealybug wilt-associated viruses are spread by Dysmicoccus species. Complex disease: PMWaV-2 most important virus but feeding mealybugs necessary. Mealybugs spread by ants, wind, and in consignments of fruit and planting material.
- Natural enemies: ladybird beetles and parasitoid wasps. Effective if ants controlled.
- Biosecurity: fresh fruit subject to import risk analysis; propagating material quarantined and tested for pineapple viruses.
- Cultural control: use plants freed from viruses (meristem culture or hot water 50°C for 30 mins), or select from fields with <10% disease. Avoid planting new crops next to old, or where disease present previously; plough around fields destroying ants' nests; weed around borders; remove infected plants.
- Chemical control: dip crowns in white or horticultural oils; destroy ants with baits or use synthetic pyrethroids against ants and mealybugs.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Pineapple wilt disease (380)
Photo 2. Plants showing pink, rolled, leaves typical of pineapple mealybug wilt disease. The 'wilt' symptoms are due to root decay, caused by virus infection.
Mealybug wilt of pineapple
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Dey KK, et al. (2018) Mealybug wilt of pineapple and associated viruses. Horticulture 4(52). (doi:10.3390/horticulturae4040052); Sether DM et al. (2001) Differentiation, distribution, and elimination of two different Pineapple mealybug wilt-associated viruses found in pineapple. Plant Disease 85:856-864. (https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/pdf/10.1094/PDIS.2001.85.8.856); and J Hu (2002) Detection, Characterization, and Management of Pineapple Mealybug Wilt-Associated Viruses. (http://www2.hawaii.edu/~johnhu/pineapple.pdf); and Subere C et al. (2009) Vector transmission of Pineapple mealybug wilt associated virus-2 by Dymiococcus neobrevipes and Pseudococcus longispinus in Hawaii. Phytopathology 99: S125; and from Subere CVQ et al. (2011) Transmission characteristics of pineapple mealybug wilt associated virus-2 by the grey pineapple mealybugs Dysmicoccus neobrevipes in Hawaii. Proceedings 7th International Pineapple Symposium. Eds.: Abdullah H et al. Acta Hort. 902, ISHS. (https://www.ishs.org/ishs-article/902_47). Photos 1&2 United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agriculture Research Service, Bugwood.org. Photos 3&4 United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org.
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.