Anthracnose Leaf Blight


Anthracnose Leaf Blight

Colletotrichum graminicola


In a Nutshell

    Infection is characterized by leaf blight, top dieback, and stalk rotSmall, oval, water-soaked lesions appear first on lower leaves, near the leaf tip or mid ribThey develop into spots with tan centers and purplish margins that can merge into patches of blightInjuries to stalks and stems favor the appearance of top dieback and stalk rot

Hosts: %1$s

· Sorghum · Maize


Plant type, environmental conditions and pathogen strength determine the outcome of the infection. On susceptible varieties, the infection is characterized by three distinct phases: leaf blight, top dieback, and stalk rot. Small, oval, water-soaked lesions appear first on lower leaves, near leaf tip or mid rib, and later on the upper ones. They develop into translucent spots with tan centers and purplish margins and can coalesce to form patches of blight that cover the whole leaf (leaf blight). At later stages of plant growth, dark, raised specks appear on dead tissue if the conditions are favorable. Injuries to stalks and stems favor the colonization of internal tissues which leads to other symptoms such as top dieback and stalk rot.


The fungus survives in plant residues in the soil, from where it is distributed onto the lower leaves by wind and splashing rain during spring. The lesions that develop on leaf blades cause secondary spreading to upper foliage or stalks. Stalk injury increases the likelihood of the colonization of internal tissues. If environmental conditions are propitious other symptoms such as top dieback and stalk rot appear consequently. The life cycle of the fungus (and disease) is favored by relatively warm temperatures (20 to 30°C), high relative humidity for a prolonged period, and frequent rainfall. The fungus can infect plants at the seedling stage but it rarely causes substantial yield loss if the fields are suitably fertilized. Rapidly expanding leaves are less prone to developing symptoms.

Biological Control

We don't know of any effective treatment against Colletotrichum graminicola. Please get in touch with us in case you know of anything that might help to fight this disease. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. To date, there are no effective fungicides available.

Preventive Measures

    Plant resistant varieties if available in your marketPlan a long-term crop rotation with non-host crops (non-grass crops or soybean)Monitor the fields for the presence of symptoms, for example stalk rotMaintain balanced soil fertility and stable pH-levelsProvide the fields with good drainageControl weeds in and around the fieldsPlow deep after harvest and bury residues


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