The disease is caused by fungus Ascochyta gossypii. It may manifest as seedling blight, a leaf spot, a stem canker, and as a boll spot. The first symptoms are small, round, white, purple-ringed spots on the cotyledons and lower leaves. The spots become somewhat elongated and raised on the upper surface. Later they change to a light brown, the purple ring around the outside disappears, and the diseased tissue often falls out. The upper small leaves, petioles and buds are often infected, and the plant dies. The almost bare stems, with a few small leaves at the tip, are characteristic of the disease at the later growth stages.
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