Cercospora zonata

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Cercospora zonata

Cercospora zonata is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes leaf spot disease in various crops. It is a common fungal pathogen known to infect a wide range of plants, including tomatoes, cotton, and sorghum. The disease caused by Cercospora zonata is characterized by the appearance of small, circular spots on the leaves, which can coalesce and result in extensive damage to the plant.

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

The symptoms of Cercospora zonata infection typically manifest as small, dark brown spots with yellow halos on the leaves of the host plant. As the disease progresses, the spots may enlarge and merge, leading to the development of large necrotic areas on the leaves. In severe cases, the infected leaves may wither and die, affecting the overall health and yield of the plant.

Disease Cycle[edit | edit source]

Cercospora zonata overwinters in infected plant debris and soil, serving as a source of inoculum for the next growing season. The fungus produces spores that are dispersed by wind, rain, or human activities, facilitating the spread of the disease to healthy plants. Warm and humid conditions are conducive to disease development, with optimal temperatures ranging between 20-25°C.

Management[edit | edit source]

Effective management strategies for controlling Cercospora zonata include cultural practices, such as crop rotation, sanitation, and the removal of infected plant material. Fungicides can also be used to manage the disease, with applications timed to coincide with the onset of symptoms or based on predictive models. Planting resistant cultivars can help reduce the impact of Cercospora zonata on crop production.

References[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD