Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Peanut southern blight (011)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On carrot, beans, cucurbits, capsicum, peanut, sweetpotato, taro, giant taro, and other aroids, tomato, and weeds. An important disease.
  • The fungus attacks many crops at soil level and below, Its cottony growth penetrates directly or via wounds, causing a wilt. Between crops, it lives on plant debris, or as white, tight balls, called 'sclerotia'.
  • Spread occurs as the fungus grows through the soil; over longer distance by movement of infected plants.
  • Cultural control: crop rotations, using plants that are not susceptible, e.g., banana, yam, cassava, maize; check nursery plants; avoid land with history of blight; add lime or coral sand; remove infected plants with sclerotia; collect and burn trash after harvest; plough land deeply.
  • Chemical control: none recommended.
Common Name

Southern blight, Athelia wilt

Scientific Name

Athelia rolfsii, the sexual state of the fungus. It is also known by the asexual state, Sclerotium rolfsii. The sexual stage (Diagram) is rarely seen.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from (and Diagram) Mullen J (2006) Southern blight. Southern stem blight, White mold. The Plant Health Instructor. The American Phytopathological Society. (; and Athelia rofsii. Wikipedia. (; and CABI (undated) Athelia rot. Plantwise Knowledge Bank. (; and from MacKenzie E (2013) Athelia rolfsii: PaDIL -; Atlas of Living Australia (undated) Athelia rolfsii (Curzi) C.C.Tu & Kimbr. ( Photo 4 Mani Mua, SPC, Sigatoka Research Station, Fiji.

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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