Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Sugarcane Ramu stunt disease (279)

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  • Narrow distribution. Papua New Guinea. On sugarcane, wild relatives and grasses. A major disease.
  • Cane thin, stunted, with short erect leaves, and green to yellow streaks of varying length. Some or all shoots may die, depending on susceptibility.
  • Spread by a planthopper.
  • Cultural control: in smallholder plots remove plants and burn; resistant varieties (main method).
  • Chemical control: none recommended as uneconomic; synthetic pyrethroids used in times of epidemics (1986).
Common Name

Ramu stunt disease

Scientific Name

Sugarcane Ramu stunt disease. Initially, the cause of the disease was thought to be a virus; later, phytoplasmas were detected (related to sugarcane white leaf phytoplasmas) in diseased plants and also in planthoppers (Eumetopina flavipes), which may spread the disease. More recently, a virus has again been suggested. Advanced RNA sequencing techniques may have found a virus belonging to the Tenuivirus group.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson 
Information from Ramu stunt (2013) Sugar Research Australia. Information Sheet IS1 3090. (; and from CABI (2015) Sugarcane Ramu stunt disease (Ramu stunt disease). Crop Protection Compendium ( Photos 1&2 Braithwaite KS (2010) Ramu stunt. PaDIL - ( Photos 3&4 Bellis G, Fletcher M (2011) Island Sugarcane Planthopper (Eumetopina flavipes). PaDIL - (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.


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