Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Maize Fusarium kernel rot (224)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On maize, banana, pineapple, sorghum, rice (bakanae disease), sugarcane, and many more. An important disease.
  • Fungus develops in storage on cobs that have not been dried properly. Grey or pinkish-white growth covers the kernels. The grains become reddish-brown. Serious human and animal toxins develop affecting horses (damage to liver and nervous systems) and humans.
  • Spread of the spores is by wind and seed. 
  • Cultural control: tolerant varieties; adequate nutrition, and if possible irrigate during dry weather; control insect damage; harvest when mature and dry to 15% for cobs, and 13-15% for seed. Hygiene in storage: clean bins, and protect from insects.
  • Chemical control: use carboxin and thiram together.


Common Name

Kernel rot, bakanae disease of rice

Scientific Name

Gibberella fujikuroi; previously Gibberella moniliforme. Known more commonly by the asexual state, Fusarium moniliforme. There are several strains of the fungus, and many names. Previously Gibberella fujikuroi and Gibberella fujikuroi var. subglutinans were considered distinct, but in the CABI database they are recorded under one name: Gibberella fujikuroi.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2014) Gibberella fujikuroi (bakanae disease of rice). Crop Protection Compendium. ( Photos 1,2&3 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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