Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Taro alomae & bobone (001)

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  • Narrow distribution. In Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Only on taro. Important virus diseases.
  • Plants are stunted with twisted, sometimes with thickened, leaves. Most varieties die from alomae; a few are resistant but develop bobone. Taro with bobone recover and look healthy. 
  • Spread is in planting material and by insects; taro planthoppers are especially important.
  • Cultural control: make new gardens far from old ones; remove plants with alomae as soon as symptoms seen, and burn or bury them; do not take suckers for planting from gardens with alomae; plant varieties resistant to alomae, even if susceptible to bobone.
  • Chemical control: use synthetic pyrethroids to kill planthoppers.
Common Name

Alomae and bobone

Scientific Name

Several viruses have been identified in plants with these diseases, but it is not yet certain which ones are the cause. The viruses associated with these diseases are: Colocasia bobone disease rhabdovirus (CBDV); Taro vein chlorosis rhabdovirus (TaVCV); Taro badnvirus (TaBV); Dasheen mosaic potyvirusvirus (DsMV). It recent years, a tenuivirus has been detected, as well as genome sequences of Colocasia bobone disease-associated virus (CBDaV), but it is not yet clear if this is the same as CBDV.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Lethal taro viruses - still unresolved. (; and Carmichael A, et al. (2008) TaroPest: an illustrated guide to pests and diseases of taro in the South Pacific. ACIAR Monograph No. 132, 76 pp. (; and Revill RA, et al. (2005) Incidence and distribution of viruses of Taro (Colocasia esculenta) in Pacific island countries. Australasian Plant Pathology 34: 327-331; and Shaw DE, et al. (1979) Virus diseases of taro (Colocasia esculenta) and Xanthosoma sp. in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea Agricultural Journal 30: 71–97; and from Macanawai AR, et al. (2005) Investigations into the seed and mealybug transmission of the Taro bacilliform virus. Australasian Plant Pathology 34: 73-76. Photo 14 Mike Furlong, University of Queensland, Australia.

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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