Two sugarcane disease, gummosis and leaf scald, are plant disease that are not widely prevalent or distributed within and throughout the United States.
Gummosis is caused by the bacterium, Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vasculorum. Natural infection of X. axonopodis pv. vasculorum appears to be restricted to sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), maize (Zea mays), Guatemala grass (Tripsacum laxum), broom bamboo (Thysanolaena latifolia) and three palms, hurricane palm (Dictyosperma album), royal palm (Roystonea regia) and nut palm (Areca catechu). Sugarcane is the most susceptible host.
Leaf scald is caused by the bacterium, Xanthomonas albilineans. In nature, X. albilineans appears to survive poorly outside of a host plant, and to multiply only in its hosts, which are monocots in the Poaceae family.
Economically severe disease is recorded in sugarcane (hybrids involving Saccharum officinarum) and in maize intercropped with sugarcane. Natural infections occur in Zea mays grown in proximity to diseased sugarcane, and in Brachiaria piligera, Imperata cylindrica, Panicum maximum, Paspalum spp., Pennisetum purpureum, and Rottboellia cochinchinensis in sugarcane districts.
The pathogen may not persist in all of these species in the field, but some hosts, such as I. cylindrica can be a long-term source of inoculum.
Clarissa J. Maroon-Lango
Director, Biocontrol, and Forest, Wood and Rangeland Pests
Telephone: (301) 851-2328