Southern Corn Leaf Blight and Stalk Rot

Southern Corn Leaf Blight and Stalk Rot

Caused by the fungus Bipolaris maydis. As the genus name hints, there are two races of this pathogen. Race O and Race T. Race O only attacks leaves. Race T attacks leaves as well as the rest of the plant. The types also create different color and shape lesions from each other.

Race O lesions are tan in color with reddish-brown margins and are relatively rectangular in shape.

Race T lesions on leaves have a reddish-brown margin possibly surrounded by a chlorotic zone and are rectangular to elliptical in shape.

Stalk and leaf infections initially appear as purple spots that develop tan-gray centers. Ear infections result in a gray-black lesion on the husk that extends into the kernels, appearing as a black felt-like mold. Seedlings from infected kernels are often blighted.

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