Southern Blight

Sclerotium rolfsii

image of southern blight

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Mature plants may wilt and die rapidly in mid season. A characteristic brown lesion can be seen girdling the stem. Large dark brown spherical fruiting bodies (sclerotia) about the size of mustard seed are associated with the lesion. Extensive fruit rotting that spreads from a white boundary that eventually turns brown is noted.

Southern blight affects several plant families and the spores are very persistent. Fumigation may provide only partial control; no resistant varieties are available. Removal and burning of residue of affected plants prevents a build up of inoculum. Rotation with nonhost species is also important.

The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.

Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.

Publication Revised July 2009

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