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How Colletotrichum Graminicola Causes Anthracnose In Corn

Categories: HARVEST, CORN
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Leaves of corn naturally begin to senesce or die as the crop reaches physiological maturity. Several factors can influence the timing and pattern of leaf death, including environmental stress, hybrid characteristics, insect damage and pathogens. It is important to watch for early symptoms of crown and stalk diseases, including Anthracnose top dieback, to help maximize harvest.

Diagnosing Anthracnose top dieback
Anthracnose top dieback in corn is caused by the Anthracnose fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum graminicola. Research from the Iowa State University Extension found that the pathogen typically infects plants early in the season through the whorl or leaf sheaths but remains dormant until exposed to late-season stressors. Stress later in the season can trigger the pathogen's symptoms, including a dead, yellow or purple flag leaf and black lesions on the stalk. The pith of the stalk will appear rotted, causing reduced water movement to the top of the plant and potentially early death of the top leaves.


Managing Anthracnose Top Dieback
Harvesting and chopping the most impacted fields first can help minimize loss from Anthracnose in corn. The longer the infected corn plants stand, the more likely they will lodge due to their reduced stalk integrity.

Consider management practices, such as crop rotation or selecting disease-resistant hybrids, for next season. For more agronomic insights and seed recommendations, meet with your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor.

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