Anthracnose in aubergine – Treatment of Colletotrichum fruit rot in aubergine

Anthracnose is a very common disease of vegetables, fruits and sometimes ornamental plants. It is caused by a fungus called Colletotrichum . Colletotrichum fruit rot of eggplant initially affects the skin and may progress into the fruit. Certain climatic and cultural conditions may favour its formation. It is highly contagious, but the good news is that it can be prevented in some cases and controlled if confronted early enough.

Symptoms of eggplant crown rot

Eggplant crown rot occurs when the leaves are wet for a long period of time, usually about 12 hours. The causative agent is a fungus that is most active during hot, humid periods, either because of rainfall in the spring or summer or because of overhead irrigation. Several Colletotrichum fungi cause anthracnose in various plants. Learn the signs of eggplant anthracnose and what you can do to prevent it.

The first evidence of this disease in aubergines is the presence of small lesions on the skin of the fruit. They are usually smaller than a pencil eraser and are circular to angular in shape. Tissue is embedded around the lesion and the inside is tanned with a fleshy exudate which is the spore of the fungus.

When the fruit is extremely sick, it falls off the stem. The fruit becomes dry and black unless soft rot bacteria get into it, where it becomes soft and decomposes. All fruit is inedible and the spores spread rapidly by splashing rain or even wind.

The fungus that rots the fruit of the eggplant’s collarotrichum overwinters in the remains of the plants. It begins to develop when temperatures are between 55 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 35 C.). The spores of the fungus need moisture to develop. For this reason, the disease is more prevalent in fields where sprinkler irrigation is used or when the rains are hot and persistent. Plants that retain moisture in fruits and leaves for a long period of time promote growth.

Control of colletotrichum

Infected plants spread the disease. Eggplant anthracnose can also survive in seeds, so it is important to select disease-free seeds and not to save them from infected fruit. Disease symptoms may appear on young fruits but are more common on mature aubergines.

In addition to careful seed selection, it is also important to remove plant debris from the previous season. Crop rotation can also be useful, but be careful not to plant other plants of the acorn family where infected eggplants used to grow.

Fungicide application early in the season can help prevent many outbreaks. Some growers also recommend a post-harvest fungicide bath or hot water bath.

Harvest fruit before it is too ripe to prevent the spread of the disease and quickly remove fruit showing signs of infection. Good sanitation and seed collection are the best methods of controlling crown-richum.

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