Sugarcane streak mosaic; researching a relatively new disease in Indonesia
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SUGARCANE STREAK MOSAIC occurs in the south and south-east Asia regions and was first identified in Indonesia in 2005. Its relatively recent recognition means that much remains to be learnt about this viral disease. ACIAR-funded research has been investigating molecular and serological assays for the virus, yield losses, important modes of transmission, and an integrated disease management strategy to manage and minimise losses. So far our findings include: molecular variation in the virus around its geographic range; yield losses amount to approximately 20% in a susceptible variety; transmission may occur via application of infested sap to leaves; mechanical transmission (as on infested machinery surfaces) is unlikely to be significant. Surveys have shown the disease to be present in various parts of Indonesia (Java, Sumatera, Sulawesi and probably West Papua). Much remains to be learnt about its epidemiology.