Mealybug Wilt of Pineapple

  • Thomas L. German
  • Diane E. Ullman
  • U. B. Gunashinghe
Part of the Advances in Disease Vector Research book series (VECTOR, volume 9)


Mealybug wilt of pineapple (MBW), first described in Hawaii in the early 1900’s (46), is now reported in most areas of the world where pineapple is grown (6, 7, 13/14, 22). The circumstances surrounding MBW epidemics are complex involving multi-trophic interactions between mealybugs (MB), ants, mealybug predators and parasites, pineapple plants and other plant species (58). Symptom expression is variable and apparently linked to environmental conditions as well as variations in mealybug populations. Several generations of entomologists and plant pathologists have been challenged by the study of MBW and the etiology is yet to be fully explained. A number of hypotheses involving mealybug salivary toxins, “latent transmissible factors” or viruses have been proposed to explain the cause of the disease but none of these have been substantiated. Recently, a pineapple closterovirus (PCV) was described that appears to be associated with the disease (35, 36, 38, 39) although its role in the mealybug wilt syndrome, if any, is not fully understood. In this chapter we will present the historical background concerning the biology and epidemiology of MBW, data showing the association of PCV with pineapple plants and mealybugs and describe an apparent influence of PCV on pineapple growth.


Tobacco Mosaic Virus Citrus Tristeza Virus Severe Strain Brome Mosaic Virus Mild Strain 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. German
    • 1
  • Diane E. Ullman
    • 2
  • U. B. Gunashinghe
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EntomologyUniversity of HawaiiHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological SciencesUniversity of IdahoMoscowUSA

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