Pineapple disease

Ceratocystis paradoxa

Pineapple disease primarily affects sugarcane setts in the first weeks of planting. The fungus infects the setts mainly through the cut ends and from there spreads rapidly through the parenchyma. Infected tissue first becomes reddened; the parenchyma then breaks down and the interior of the setts become hollow and blackened. In the early stages of the rotting, the strong odour of overripe pineapples is often present and may help in diagnosing the disease. Setts affected by pineapple disease may decay before buds germinates or young shoots may die back shortly after emergence. The development of the sett roots on infected setts may be sparse. If shoot roots develop before extensive rotting occurs, the shoots from the infected setts may survive but the growth of the shoots may be retarded. Pineapple disease can result in crops having a patchy, uneven appearance. When severe, the disease may seriously reduce the germination over large areas. Pineapple disease may occur in stalks of the standing cane if the stalks are mechanically or physically damaged, such as by boring insects or rats.

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