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Fusarium Ear Rot

About the Disease: Fusarium Ear Rot is a fungal disease, characterized by the rotting of the ear tip.

Symptoms: The infected kernels will be mainly seen in the ear region and hence the name of the disease is ‘Fusraium ear rot’. The ear region will be fully covered with pink colored ort lavender colored mycelium. The growth of the fungus will not be predominant in all the parts of the plant. It will mainly occur in the ear tip region.

The symptoms will depend on a number of factors. For instance, the genotype of the corn can have an effect over the extent of the disease symptoms. Other factors that can influence the symptoms include the environmental factors and the stress level. The severity of the disease will also determine the types of symptoms to a certain extent. The kernels can get infected at a very early stage. It can even get affected in the embryo stage and this will be initially left unnoticed.

Pathogen Involved: The three main pathogens that cause the disease include the Fusarium moniliforme, F. subglutinans and F. proliferatum. All these pathogens will be producing a toxic substance called the mycotoxin. The fungus will mainly grow on the corn debris. This is obtained from the corn grown in the previous years in the same place.

Time of Occurrence: The period after flowering is the best time for the disease to occur.

Conditions Favoring Disease: When the climate is hot and dry, it provides a favorable condition for the disease.

Disease Management: Growth of hybrid varieties is an excellent option. Before planning to cultivate the crops, a simple and a basic screening of the plant varieties must be done. In this screening phase, the plants that are resistant to the disease and the plants that are more susceptible to the disease are segregated.

After this comparison, the resistant varieties are grown in the fields. This will ensure that the plants grown are not prone to get affected at a later point of time. Controlling the growth of the insects must also be done in a proper way. There must not be excessive application of fungicide or the insectide. This might also affect the plant growth. The soil fertility needs to be maintained. When grown in poor soil, that lacks nutrients, or in soil that is over flooded with water or in soil with overcrowded plants, the possibility of getting the disease is higher. Thus any condition that favors the progression of the disease must be eliminated.