Grassy shoot disease of Sugarcane

Grassy shoot disease

  • Initial symptom appears in the young crop of 3 – 4 months age as thin papery white young leaves at the top of the cane.
  • Later, white or yellow tillers appear in the large number below these leaves (profuse tillering).
  • The cane becomes stunted with reduced internodal length with axillary bud sprouting.
  • This disease appears in isolated clumps.
  • The disease is caused by Mycoplasma like organisms. Mycoplasma cells are physically small – less than 1 µm – and they are therefore difficult to detect with a conventional microscope.

Management strategies
Cultural method:
  • Growing resistant varieties viz., Co 86249, CoG 93076 and CoC 22
  • Avoid ratooning if Grassy Shoot Disease incidence is more than 15 % in the plant crop
  • If disease symptoms are visible within two weeks after planting, such plants can be replaced by healthy plants.
  • Uprooted infected plants need to disposed of by burning them.
Physical method:
  • Rogue out infected plants in the secondary and commercial seed nursery.
  • Treat the setts with aerated steam at 50°C for 1 hour to control primary infection.
  • Treating them with hot air at 540C for 8 hours and spraying twice a month with aphidicides.
Chemical method:
  • Spray dimethoate @ 1ml in 1 litre of water to control insect vector
  • Apply pesticide methyl-demeton @ 2ml/lit of water for controlling aphids.



  • TamilNadu Agritech Portal
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