Photo 1. Leaf spots, brown with grey centres and yellow halos, caused by capsicum frog-eye, Cercospora capsici.
Frog-eye leaf spot; stem-end rot, Cercospora leaf spot
Worldwide, probably, in the tropics. Restricted distribution in Asia, South America, the Caribbean, Oceania, but not well documented. It is recorded from American Samoa, Fiji, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Island, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
Capsicum annuum (capsicum) and Capsicum frutescens (chilli)
The spots on the leaves are distinctive. They are brown, up to 10 mm diameter, and have a 0.5-1 mm whitish or grey centre, hence the name 'frog-eye' (Photo 1). As the spots develop, surrounding areas of the leaf start to turn yellow. In severe cases, the spots merge so that large areas of the leaves are diseased (Photo 2). Even a few spots on a leaf may result in early leaf fall (Photo 3). Spots also occur on the stems, as well as leaf and fruit stalks.
The spores of the fungus present on the underside of the leaves are spread by wind and rain.
A fungus causes the damage. In wet weather, the disease causes loss of leaves, and is likely to result in lower fruit production. In severe cases, the fungus causes a stem-end rot on the fruits.
Look for brown roughly circular spots with whitish centres, and yellow halos.
Warm wet conditions favour the disease, and fungicides may be needed to give adequate control. Do the following:
AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Photo 2 Kohler F, Pellegrin F, Jackson G, McKenzie E (1997) Diseases of cultivated crops in Pacific Island countries. South Pacific Commission. Pirie Printers Pty Limited, Canberra, Australia.
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
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