Anthracnose of Pepper
Water-soaked circular or angular lesions on fruits that later become soft and slightly sunken. The centres of the lesions are either orange or brown and turn black in color while the tissue nearby is lighter-colored. The lesions can cover most of the fruit surface. Multiple lesions occur. Concentric rings are common within the fruit spots. Green fruits may be infected latently, and do not show any symptoms until they ripen. Foliage and stem symptoms appear as small, irregularly shaped grey-brown spots with dark brown edges.
Colletotrichum causes disease on virtually all growth stages, on immature as well as on mature fruit, and postharvest. It survives in and on seeds, in plant debris or alternative hosts like Solanaceae. It can also be introduced anew by infected transplants. The fungi thrives during warm and wet periods, and can spread via rain or irrigation water. A fruit infection can occur at temperatures from 10°C to 30°C, while 23°C to 27°C is optimal for disease development. Fruit surface wetness increases the severity of the anthracnose.
Infested seeds can be treated by soaking in 52°C hot water for 30 minutes. Temperature and time should be complied precisely to ensure the desired effect of the treatment.
Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. If fungicides are needed, spray products containing mancozeb or copper-based products. Start the treatment at flowering.
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