Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Yam anthracnose & dieback (016)

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  • Worldwide distribution. There are many strains of the fungus attacking crops and weeds. An important disease.
  • A wet weather fungus mainly on greater yam. Spots on young leaves expand rapidly causing them to fall early. Shoots die back, and old leaves turn black. New shoots grow from the set, but if they become infected, these die back, too. Often, there are no tubers, or just many small ones.
  • Spread occurs when spores are moved in wind-driven rain and, perhaps, long distance in planting setts.
  • Cultural control: plant early ahead of rainy season; check setts for rot; interplant with maize; do not weed when plants are wet; collect and burn trash after harvest; resistant varieties; 3-year crop rotation.
  • Chemical control: copper, chlorothalonil, or mancozeb.
Common Name

Yam dieback, yam anthracnose, lightening disease of yam

Scientific Name

Glomerella cingulata (it also has the name of Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). Glomerella is the sexual state of the fungus.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Winch JE, et al. (1984) Studies on Colletotrichum gloeosporioides on yam, Dioscorea alata, in Solomon Islands Plant Pathology 33(4): 467-477. (

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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