Diagnosis of diseases

Cenicaña diagnoses diseases that affect sugarcane cultivation using samples collected by the farmer.

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This solution allows:

Have a complete diagnosis for the detection of viruses and bacteria that cause diseases in sugarcane. The analyzes are carried out on samples of leaf tissue and veins from seed plots and commercial fields.

Who should take the samples?

Samples for diagnosis must be taken directly by the sugarcane grower.

Where should they be taken?

The samples must be sent in the shortest possible time to the Disease Diagnostic Service Laboratory.

The laboratory is located at the Cenicaña Experimental Station, via Cali-Florida km 26. They can also be sent to the Cenicaña liaison office in Cali.


The results of the phytosanitary analyzes are delivered in an estimated time of ten (10) business days, counted from the date of receipt of the samples in the laboratory.

Instructions for collecting samples

  1. Identify sampling points using either of the two ways to route the lot. (Figure A).
  2. At each sampling point, identify the first leaf with a visible neck or ligule (TVD leaf, Top Visible Dewlap) (Figure B).
  3. Cut the TDV blade from its base, avoiding tearing or damaging the central rib. The collar or ligule of the leaf must be visible. Then cut approximately the first 30cm of the basal part of the leaf (Figure C).
  4. Group the basal portions of the 20 TVD leaves that make up each sample and secure them with a rubber band or a fiber or rope twine, forming a bundle (Figure D).
  5. Pack the bundles with the samples of each lot in a plastic bag to avoid dehydration and degradation (Figure D).
  6. Mark each package with a paper label that includes the following basic information for identification in the laboratory:
    – name of the sugar mill or sugar cane supplier,
    - tax authorities,
    – luck, lot or plank,
    – variety of cane and
    - age.
  7. Package the label in another plastic bag, place it inside the sample package, and seal the bag (Figure D). Always follow these instructions to prevent moisture from the plant tissue from deteriorating the paper label and preventing sample identification.

The schedule for entering samples into the laboratory is:

  • Monday to Friday between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm
  • Samples that arrive outside of these hours will be received at the entrance of the Cenicaña Experimental Station but will only enter the request system during established business hours.

Instructions for sending samples to the laboratory

If samples cannot be sent to the laboratory on the same day of sampling, they need to be kept refrigerated in a refrigerator. For shipping, use Styrofoam thermoses that contain cooling batteries at an approximate temperature between 2°C and 15°C.

Complete the disease diagnosis service request form (RSD, LSD and SCYLV) completely and send it to the laboratory along with the samples.


  • To request the disease diagnosis service (RSD, LSD and SCYLV). Download it here.
  • To request diagnostic service Optional of diseases (SCMV and SCBV) Download it here.

    Note: Only samples that contain the correctly completed forms are received.
Where are the samples delivered for analysis?

Cenicaña has two locations for the reception of the samples, where it is attended by Monday to Friday between 7:00 am and 4:00 pm

  • Laboratory of Disease Diagnostic Service
    Cenicaña Experimental Station 
    Via Cali-Florida km 26. San Antonio de los Caballeros, Florida, Valle del Cauca.
    Telephone: (602) 524 66 11 – ext. 5150 and 5179
    Email: diagenfermedades@cenicana.org
  • Liaison Office in Cali
    North 38th Street #3CN-75. 
    Cali Valle del Cauca.

For the processing of the samples, it is essential that they arrive at the laboratory along with the completely completed request form. The information recorded in the application form must correspond to that indicated on the label inserted in the sample package. Without the attached application form, samples will NOT be processed.

Value of the disease diagnosis service$52.000

This value applies to the diagnosis of each sample for each of the diseases; Soca rickets (RSD), Leaf scald (LSD), Yellow leaf virus (SCYLV), Bacilliform virus (SCBV) and Cane mosaic virus (SCMV). The sample must be taken by the grower.

For the diagnosis of rickets and leaf scald, the TBIA technique is used and for yellow leaf virus, bacilliform virus and mosaic virus, the molecular PCR technique is used.

Price effective as of January 1, 2024.

Methodologies for detection

Agents LSD y RSD are detected by the serological methodology of TBIA (Tissue-Blot Enzyme Immunoassay) using specific antisera for each pathogen. This technique allows determining the results in percentage of incidence of each disease.

The diseases SCYLV, SCMV and SCBV are evaluated using the molecular technique PCR (Reaction in Cadena of the Pconventional olimerase), based on the extraction of nucleic acids from the infected sugarcane plant. This technique expresses the results qualitatively, giving a positive or negative result according to the presence or absence of the pathogen.


The requirements for taking samples are recommendations from Cenicaña, and are basic to ensure the reliability of the results of disease diagnosis. Samples that do not meet these requirements could generate variable results, including false negatives or false positives. These samples will be received and analyzed in Cenicaña for diagnosis under the exclusive responsibility of the applicant.

How are samples collected?

The grower is responsible for taking the samples and sending them to the Laboratory in the shortest possible time.
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