Anthracnose

Anthracnose

Mango anthracnose 1a by Scot Nelson (CC0)
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A close up picture of a mango tree with fungal infection Anthracnose
Mango anthracnose 1a by Scot Nelson (CC0)
1 of 2
Anthracnose is a term that describes a group of fungal pathogens, causing similar symptoms in plants. Anthracnose behaves similarly to fungal Rusts; it's worst during wet, humid weather. When the weather is dry, the spread of infection slows down significantly or even seems to disappear. However, returns once again following rain or humidity. Anthracnose can impact a wide range of ornamental plants, vegetables, fruits and more commonly, trees. The main symptoms involve dark, sunken lesions (cankers) and water-soaked spots on the leaves, stems, flowers and fruits.
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Identification

On leaves, Anthracnose appears as small irregular-shaped yellow spots. The spots become papery brown as the disease progresses, and sometimes they grow larger, too. Dark, sunken spots on fruits which produce white-pink fluffy spores when weather is wet. Fruits become rotten. In trees, young leaves develop irregular brown spots and fall from the tree. Young branch tips die.

Growth factors

Fungi can persist on plant debris and spread very easily, especially when conditions are moist. It's commonly spread when plants are over-watered.

Symptoms

Dark sunken spots or lesions on leaves and stems.
Spots grow larger on fruits.
Leaves fall early in trees.
Fruits can become rotten.
Pinkish-white fluffy spores appear on lesions.

Biological treatment

Remove and destroy infected plants. Cut out diseased plant parts and destroy.

Chemical treatment

There are some fungicides that can treat Anthracnose.

Lifecycle

Depends on the fungi.

Prevention

Growing resistant cultivars can help prevent the disease. The fungi thrive in wet conditions with poor airflow. Therefore, avoiding overwatering by providing well-drained soil is key. Keeping sufficient space between plants can also be beneficial because this will encourage air currents and dry plants quicker. Try not to touch plants while wet. Prevent ripening fruits from touching the soil. Practice tool hygiene and crop rotation.
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