Worldwide distribution. The distribution is unclear because the taxonomy of the phytoplasma has not been resolved. On papaya. Important diseases. In Australia, for instance, there are diseases by the names papaya dieback, yellow crinkle, and mosaic, and one called bunchy top in the Caribbean.
In general, young leaves turn yellow, bunch, dry, die and fall. Papaya dieback shows a slight bending of petioles and the top of stem leading to rapid death; yellow crinkle is like mosaic: most leaves die except for a stunted few at the top.
Spread possibly by leafhoppers that migrate from weeds.
Cultural control: remove infected trees, or ratoon diseased trees to see if recovery occurs. Check varieties for tolerance.
Chemical control: apply systemic insecticide, but combine with removal or ratooning of diseased trees.