Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Sweetpotato little leaf (055)

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  • Widespread distribution. Asia, Africa, Oceania. On sweetpotato and relatives. Occasionally, an important disease.
  • Veins on young leaves show clearly, side shoots grow, becoming bushy, erect, with small leaves.
  • Caused by bacteria-like organism in phloem tubes.
  • Spread by leafhoppers that feed on diseased plants then infect others after 20 days. More important in dry times. Storage root yields absent or very low.
  • Cultural control: plant only disease-free vines; do not plant near infected crops; remove affected plants when seen; collect and burn trash after harvest.
  • Chemical control: PDPs: derris, pyrethrum, or chilli; or synthetic pyrethroids.
Common Name

Sweetpotato little leaf, sweetpotato witches' broom

Scientific Name

Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Jackson GVH et al. (1984) Sweet potato little leaf. Advisory leaflet 19. South Pacific Commission. Noumea, New Caledonia. (

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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