Fiji leaf gall (formerly known as Fiji disease) is caused by planting diseased setts or by infected planthoppers feeding on the plant.

Major epidemics of this disease have been recorded in southern Queensland and New South Wales.

Fiji leaf gall is regarded as a notifiable disease under Queensland State Government Plant Protection Regulations. Any person finding the disease must report the finding to a Plant Protection Inspector within 24 hours. Restrictions on planting and cultivating cane that is infected with Fiji leaf gall also apply.

What to look for

  • Slow stalk development.
  • Whitish galls on the underside of the leaf blade and midrib.
  • Successive leaves are often shorter, darker green, harsher and stiffer than their disease-free counterparts.
  • The top of the plant becomes distorted and leaves have a ragged edge – they look like an animal has bitten them.
  • Plants are severely stunted with multiple tillers and they often die out in ratoon crops.
Fiji leaf gall, galls on back of cane leaf

Management

Fiji leaf gall is controlled through the use of clean planting material and planting of resistant varieties. Only approved varieties may be grown in Queensland and varieties approved under grower contracts in New South Wales. Varieties that are highly susceptible to Fiji leaf gall are not approved for districts where the disease is active.