Onion smudge

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Onion smudge
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C. circinans spores
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Fungi
Phylum: Ascomycota
Class: Sordariomycetes
Order: Phyllachorales
Family: Phyllachoraceae
Genus: Colletotrichum
Species: Colletotrichum circinans
Colletotrichum dematium f.sp. circinans (Berk.) Arx 1957

Vermicularia circinans Berk. 1851

Volutella circinans (Berk.) F. Stevens & E. Y. True 1919

Onion smudge (Colletotrichum circinans) occurs in many parts of Europe and the United States. It is generally of minor importance. Smudge occurs on the common field onion, onion sets, shallots, and leeks. It has not been observed on garlic.[1]

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

Onion smudge may appear at all growth stages but it is more common on bulbs approaching maturity and during storage. The disease affects the scales and lower portions of the unthickened leaves which constitute the neck of the bulb that appears as minute, sunken, yellowish spots that can enlarge and join together. Infected leaves have oval, greenish or yellowish-gray spots with yellow halos that turn dark as they age.[2]

Prevention[edit | edit source]

No satisfactory controls are available for white onions; therefore, coloured varieties should be used where smudge is a persistent problem. At least two substances responsible for colour in the outer scales are toxic to the fungus. These are protocatechuic acid and catechol. Crop rotation, use of seed or healthy sets, proper drainage and a good foliage fungicide program helps. The crop should be harvested promptly; exposure to rain should be avoided between harvest time and storage.[1]


Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


  1. a b Sherf, A.F. and MacNab, A.A. (1986). Vegetable Diseases and Their Control. Wiley-Blackwell; 2nd Edition edition. ISBN: 0471058602. p.448-449.
  2. Anthracnose. PAN Germany. Retrieved: 2010-12-18.