White leaf disease

Infected plants. Image SRA

Can cause reduced yields and sugar content. Losses of up to 100% have been reported overseas in susceptible varieties.


  • Leaves develop cream-white coloured stripes parallel to the midrib, which eventually cover the whole leaf.
  • Infected leaves are narrower than healthy leaves.
  • Plants tiller profusely, have short internode length and look bushy.
  • Poor ratooning after harvest, which results in patchy crops.


  • Transmitted by the exotic leafhoppers Matsumuratettix hiroglyphicus and Yamatotettix flavovittatus .
  • Infected propagation material can also spread the disease.

High priority pest of: Sugarcane

Scientific name: Sugarcane white leaf phytoplasma
EPPRD Category: 3
Life Form: Phytoplasma

Pest Documents

FS: fact sheet

CP: contingency plan

DP: diagnostic protocol