Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Maize common rust (225)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On maize and sweet corn. There are two kinds, both may occur on maize at the same time. Oxalis species (woodsorrels) are also hosts. Important disease, more severe on sweet corn.
  • Round, oval and irregular pustules, powdery, brown, becoming darker as the plant matures, on leaves, leaf sheaths and stems. The pustules are most common on the leaves where they are scattered on both surface.
  • Spread is by wind-blown spores.
  • Cultural control: resistant varieties; weed, especially Oxalis; remove volunteer plants; collect and burn trash after harvest.
  • Chemical control: not needed on maize; on sweet corn use chlorothalonil or mancozeb.
Common Name

Common rust (Puccinia sorghi)

Scientific Name

Puccinia sorghi (also known as Puccinia maydis). Another rust affects maize in the region, American corn rust or southern rust, Puccinia polysora (see Fact Sheet no. 42).

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2015) Puccinia sorghi (common rust of maize), and CABI (2013) Puccinia polysora (American corn rust) Crop Protection Compendium. ( and (, respectively; and from McKenzie E (2013) Puccinia sorghi: PaDIL - Photos 1&2 Kohler F, et al. (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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