Anthracnose of Corn

Colletotrichum graminicola

C. graminicola is a fungal pathogen that colonizes and infects many turfgrass e.g., Bluegrass, Ryegrass, fescue. In addition to the grasses, C. graminicola also infects many grain crops such as barley, wheat, sorghum and corn.The fungus can infect many different parts of the corn plant, typically the kernels, tassels, roots, leaves, stalk and husks. The most common area of infection is the stalk. C. graminicola produces three major symptom types: leaf blight, stalk rot and top die-back. The leaf blight is characterized by round yellowing water soaked lesions on the leaves. These lesions usually occur early in the season and are how this pathogen is distinguished from other diseases. Top die-back is the necrosis of the top leaves and stalk of the corn. This occurs around the same time as grain formation. The stalk rot phase becomes prominent during the late reproductive stages of the corn life cycle. It is characterized by blackening of the pith tissue in the stalk and also of the rind, beginning at the nodes closest to the soil.Along with these symptoms, seedling blight and post emergence damping off are also found.

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