Black leaf spot (Brassica)

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Black leaf spot (Brassica)
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Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Dothideomycetes
Subclass: Pleosporomycetidae
Order: Pleosporales
Family: Pleosporaceae
Genus: Alternaria
Species: Alternaria raphani
Alternaria matthiolae Neerg

Alternaria raphani is one of the causes of Black leaf spot on most Brassica species. It is most often found on radish, but can infect other brassica crops.[1]

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

A. raphani produces black stripes or dark brown, sharp-edged lesions on the hypocotyl of the seedling. It grows in the vascular system and rapidly infects the entire seedling.[2][3]

When older plants become infected, Alternaria symptoms often occur on the older leaves, since they are closer to the soil and are more readily infected as a consequence of rain splash or wind blown rain.[3]

Fruit-bearing branches and seed pods show dark or blackened spots that result in yield loss due to premature pod ripening and shedding of the seeds. Infection can also occur on the fruit, before or after harvest. A common symptom of broccoli and cauliflower infection is a browning that occurs on the head.[3]

The disease may also be a means by which bacterial soft rot enters the stem, which may lead to plant death.[4]

In addition to destruction of a seed crop, the pathogens can live within the seed, spread the disease to other fields, and cause a loss of seedlings[5]

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Late infection, or infection of older leaves, does not characteristically reduce yields, and can be controlled through intensive removal of infected leaves.[4]

Non-Chemical[edit | edit source]

Surface sterilization of seeds infected with A. raphani (3 min. in 4% sodium hypochlorite) reduced infection by 30%.[2]

Hot-water treatment

Seed treatment with hot water is one method of controlling spores on the seed coat. However, this treatment sometimes depresses germination.

Crop rotations

Rotation with noncruciferous crops and eradication of cruciferous weed hosts can help control these pathogens. Since spores can survive on leaf tissue for 8 to 12 weeks and stem tissue for up to 23 weeks, fields that are replanted soon after harvest often coincide with a large amount of inoculum which is likely to effect the crop's emergence and early growth stages.[6]

Chemical[edit | edit source]

The following fungicides can be used to control A. raphani:

  • Iprodione at 0.25 lb a.i./100 lb seed
  • Fenpropimorph at 0.25 lb a.i./100 lb seed
  • Aoxystrobin (Amistar) 2-5 oz/A. Apply prior to disease development and continue at 7-14 day intervals. Do not make more than one application of Amistar before alternating with a fungicide with a different mode of action.
  • Chlorothalonil (Bravo Ultrex 82WDG) 1.4 lb/A. Apply at the first sign of disease and repeat at 7-10 day intervals.
  • Cyprodinil plus fludioxonil 11-14 oz/A. Apply at the first sign of disease and repeat at 7-10 day intervals. Only turnip varieties harvested for their leaves may be treated.
  • Maneb (Maneb, Manex) Rates vary depending on the formulation.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


  1. Dicklow, M.B. (2005). Broccoli Alternaria - Alternaria diseases of Brassicas - The Plant Diagnostic Clinic. University of Massachusetts Amherst. Retrieved: 2010-08-08.
  2. a b Valkonen, J.P.T., and H. Koponen. 1990. The seed-borne fungi of Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis), their pathogenicity and control. Plant Pathology 39:510-516.
  3. a b c Ferreira, S.A. Boley, R.A. (1991). Blight, black leafspot, gray leafspot (Plant Disease Pathogen). Crop Knowledge Master. University of Hawaii, Manoa. Retrieved: 2010-08-08.
  4. a b Chupp, C., and A.F. Sherf. 1960. Vegetable diseases and their control. Pp. 267-269. The Ronald Press Company. New York. 693 pp.
  5. Rangel, J.F. 1945. Two Alternaria diseases of cruciferous plants. Phytopathology 35:1002-1007.
  6. Humpherson-Jones, F.M. 1989. Survival of Alternaria brassicae and Alternaria brassicicola on crop debris of oilseed rape and cabbage. Ann. appl. Biol. 115:45-50.