|Anthracnose on banana pepper (Photo: L. Kaderabek)|
|Anthracnose lesions: Note salmon colored spores (Photo: L. Kaderabek)|
|Anthracnose lesions: Note concentric rings and black fruiting bodies (Photo: L. Kaderabek)|
Anthracnose on pepper usually begins in “hotspots” in a field. The disease is favored by warm, wet weather. Because the masses of spores produced on the oozing lesions are perfectly adapted for dispersal in splashing rain or irrigation water, periods of rainy weather can lead to rapid spread and devastating losses.
The pathogen survives on plant debris left behind from previous plantings or on other susceptible plant hosts. Although the pathogen can survive on infested plant debris, typically it does not overwinter more than one year in the absence of a host, and rotation is an effective control. Peppers should be rotated out of infested fields or gardens for at least two years. Other hosts to avoid include tomatoes, eggplants, other solanaceous plants, and strawberries. The fungus can be introduced from contaminated seed, so always start with disease-free plants and seed. Removing infected fruit early in the season reduces inoculum levels. After harvest, disk or cultivate to bury debris. All infected fruit should be removed and buried. Left over plant debris from hotspots should also be removed to reduce inoculum levels.
|Strawberry Anthracnose: Note salmon colored spores (Photo: E. Lookabaugh)|
|Strawberry Anthracnose: Note red marbling of the crown (Photo: E. Lookabaugh)|