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Leaf blight - Alternaria macrospora
The disease may occur in all stages but more severe when plants are 45-60 days old. Small, plate to brown, irregular or round spots, measuring 0.5 to 6mm diameter, may appear on the leaves. Each spot has a central lesion surrounded by concentric rings. Several spots coalesce together to form blighted areas. The affected leaves become brittle and fall off. Sometimes stem lesions are also seen. In severe cases, the spots may appear on bracts and bolls.


The fungus produces dark brown, short, 1-8 septate, irregularly bend conidiophores with a single conidium at the apex. The conidia are obclavate, light to dark brown in colour with 3-9 transverse septa and four longitudinal septa, with a prominent beak

Favourable Conditions

  • High humidity.
  • Intermittent rains.
  • Moderate temperature of 25-28˚ C.

Disease cycle
            The pathogen survives in the dead leaves as dormant mycelium. The pathogen primarily spreads through irrigation water. The secondary spread is mainly by airborne conidia.

  • Remove and destroy the infected plant residues.
  • Spray Mancozeb 2 kg or Copper oxychloride at 2kg/ha at the intimation of the disease. Four to five sprays may be given at 15 days interval.