Pineapple Disease

Fig. 1. Sugarcane cutting affected with pineapple disease. Sooty color of diseased cutting is produced by macrospores

The pineapple disease, Ceratocystis paradoxa (de Seynes) Moreau, is the principal cause of rotting of sugarcane cutting (seedpieces of setts). It is named pineapple disease because the odor given off by sugarcane in the early stages of rotting is the odor of ripe pineapple fruit. It causes serious losses due to the failure of infected cuttings to germinate. Once the germination of seedpieces is lower than 85%, low production can be expected. The recent study on the effect of pineapple disease on germination reveals that with 30% infection, the germination is 72.22% in plant cane and 55% in ratoon (Concel and Husmillo, 1992). The reduction in TC/Ha ranged from 10-58% to 29.97% in plant cane and from 4.83% to 30.09% in ratoon.

Microspores (microconidia) and macrospores (macroconidia) which are present in the soil and by infected cuttings transmit the disease. The microspores germinate quickly and maybe responsible for the rapid spread of the disease. The macrospores germinate quickly and maybe responsible for the rapid spread of the disease. The macrospores remain viable under more adverse climatic conditions. The fungus is heterothallic and may live saprophytically in the soil. Standing cane is sometimes infected by wind-blown spores which enter the cane stalk through rat, insects and mechanical injuries (Wisner, 1961).


The fungus enters the cutting through the ends and spread rapidly through the parenchymatous tissues. The affected tissues first become reddened, then the parenchyma breaks down and the interior of the cutting becomes hollow and black in color (Fig. 1). The cuttings may decay before the buds germinate, or the shoots may die back after reaching a height of several inches. The leaves of affected stalks may wilt and stalks severely affected eventually die.

Control Measures
  1. Plant seedpieces immediately after cutting
  2. Protect the ends of the seedpieces with fungicide after cutting dipping seedpieces on Triadimefon solution (Bayleton) or Benomyl solutuon (Benlate) at 100-200 g/100 li water for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Hotwater treatment of seedpieces at 50 oC for 20 minutes.
  4. Provide proper drainage and tillage when planting in wet soil


Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA)
La Granja Agricultural Research and Extension Center (LGAREC)